An American Legion hall was the scene of gunfire this weekend, local ABC station KAIT reported.
The early morning shooting in Kennett, Missouri, on Sunday left one person dead and four others wounded, two of whom are reportedly in critical condition.
No suspect in custody
According to authorities, a private party was being held at the Legion hall, with around 200 people inside the building. Around 12:25 a.m., someone called the police about someone shooting a firearm, KAIT reported.
Kennett Police Chief Kenny Wilson said that his agency is conducting an investigation in conjunction with the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Dunklin County Sheriff’s Office. The shooting suspect has not yet been identified.
“We’ve got officers working around the clock trying to run down whatever leads we have,” Wilson told reporters, according to KAIT.
“Right now, we have different officers in different towns running down different leads,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll come up with something by the end of the day.”
The police chief went on: “I would stress to anybody that was at the party last night if they would come forward with any information they have, even if it’s something little, it may be something that helps us out tremendously in solving this case.”
Violence spikes across the country
Violent crime has escalated significantly over the past year, with some attributing the rise in violence to a hampering of law enforcement following the Black Lives Matter riots over the summer of 2020.
Fox News reported in December that gun violence in New York City has surged “to level unseen in years,” with shootings up 112% compared to the previous year.
“The year so far has presented significant public safety challenges with gun violence continuing to afflict New Yorkers across the city,” the New York Police Department announced in a press release.
Violence has also spiked dramatically in Chicago, with murders in the Windy City increasing by more than half over 2019, Fox reported.
“This has been a difficult year for law enforcement throughout the country as COVID-19 and civil unrest have converged to create changed environments in major U.S. cities,” police superintendent David Brown said in a statement. “Chicago is no exception.”