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Dig In 2 It!: Deadly mass shootings & response from lawmakers

Mass killings are happening with staggering frequency this year: an average of about one a week, according to an analysis of The AP/USA Today data.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Deadly mass shootings in the United States seem to be dominating headlines in 2023. Since April 1st there have been at least 5 deadly mass shootings to captivate America. All of the victims ranged from 3  to 63 years old. 

Allen, Texas - May 6th, 2023 

The Texas Department of public safety identified 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia as the gunman who opened fire outside of an outlet mall at the Allen Premium Outlets. Texas DPS says Garcia killed eight people and wounded 7 others before being shot and killed by a police officer. Investigators are now looking into whether Garcia was motivated by domestic violent extremist ideals.

Atlanta, Georgia - May 3rd, 2023

Cobb County police arrested 24-year-old Deion Patterson following an hours-long manhunt and shooting at the Northside Hospital medical facility. Officials say Patterson started shooting after becoming agitated while waiting for an appointment. The shooting left one woman dead and 4 other women injured. In an interview with CBS Atlanta affiliate WANF, the suspect's mother offered condolences to the victims and said her son suffered from mental illness. 

Cleveland, Texas - April 28th, 2023

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office arrested  38-year-old Francisco Oropesa following a multi-day manhunt. Oropesa faces five counts of murder in connection to a mass shooting near the Texas town of Cleveland. 5 people died in the shooting including a 9-year-old boy. A Mexican national, Oropesa was ordered removed by a U.S. immigration judge and deported by ICE agents in Houston in 2009. After re-entering the country, he was apprehended and removed again several times over the next seven years, CBS News has learned. Oropesa has a prior conviction in Montgomery County for driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to serve time in jail for the offense.   

Dadeville, Alabama - April 15, 2023

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is still investigating a shooting in Dadeville at a Sweet 16 birthday party. Two teenage brothers are among six people accused of carrying out the shooting that left 4 people dead and another 32 injured. The suspects were each charged with four counts of reckless murder, the agency said. District Attorney Mike Segrest said the two brothers would be charged as adults.  All of the deceased victims in the mass shooting were under the age of 24. 

Louisville, Kentucky - April 10, 2023

A Louisville bank employee armed with a rifle opened fire at his workplace killing five people while livestreaming the attack. Police arrived as shots were still being fired inside Old National Bank and killed the shooter in an exchange of gunfire, Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said. In Louisville, the chief identified the shooter as 25-year-old Connor Sturgeon. Nine people, including two police officers, were treated for injuries, University of Louisville Hospital spokeswoman.

With gun laws grid-locked at the U.S. Capitol, states are paving their own way in both directions. Washington state will soon become the 10th state to ban assault weapons. Recently Florida's governor signed a bill to allow permit-less concealed carry of a firearm, becoming the 26th state to do so. A similar bill was proposed in North Carolina but never made it to the governor's desk because Republican leaders say there wasn't enough support.

In Texas, lawmakers have proposed a series of bills calling for stricter gun laws. A bill just passed in the state house committee that would raise the legal age to buy an assault weapon to 21. The bill is still a ways from passing, it faces an uphill battle with Texas's governor indicating he opposes the idea. Since the shooting in Uvalde, TX – survivors and families of the victims have been asking for what they call common sense gun legislation. Supporters say that none of these bills are trying to take away anyone's guns. According to "Everytown for Gun Safety" in an average year, nearly 4 thousand people die by guns in Texas. The organization describes the state's gun laws as weak and it ranked Texas as 32nd in the nation.

Lawmakers say that's just the beginning of what needs to be done. According to the associated press, more than 100 people have been killed in mass shootings so far this year. 20 years after Columbine, 10 years after Sandy Hook, five years after Las Vegas, and less than one year after massacres at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas we're all still searching for answers.

If you think you have an idea of how to prevent this violence, we all want to hear it. Text us at (336)379-5775, we'll put your best ideas in front of lawmakers to get their reaction, because together we have to find a way to stay safe.


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