Memorial Day weekend crime: Some cities marred with gun violence, bloodshed over holiday

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Cities in parts of the U.S. grappled with high numbers of shootings and killings over Memorial Day weekend, with at least one reporting as many as 10 murders over the extended holiday, according to officials and reports.

The warmer-weather months are often notorious for yielding higher crime rates in parts of the country and causing some agencies, such as the New York Police Department, to deploy more officers to high-crime areas. 

Crime analysts and experts have said they anticipated summer 2021 violence could be just as bad as – if not worse than last year amid upticks in shootings and murders that started earlier than usual.

Cities such as Houston, Miami and New Orleans saw startling spates of violence over the extended weekend. 

HOUSTON

Police tape remains at Club Clé nightclub, following a shooting early this morning that left two dead and two injured on Monday, May 31, 2021 in Houston. (Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP)
(Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via A)

There were 10 murders reported throughout the Texas city from Friday afternoon through Monday evening, local news station KPRC 2 reported. 

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner told reporters on Monday the city had grappled with “a very violent weekend, Memorial Day weekend.”

Just Monday morning, a gunman opened fire inside a Houston nightclub, where he killed one person and wounded two others before he was mortally wounded, according to police officials.

An off-duty Harris County sheriff’s deputy was working security at the nightclub at the time and fatally shot the suspect after shots rang out around 1:15 p.m., police said. 

Police said one other person was pronounced dead at the scene. A second person was struck several times and was in critical condition, police said, while a third person was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg.

CHICAGO

Three people were killed and a total of 27 were shot in Chicago over the extended holiday weekend, police said Tuesday. 

There were 32 people wounded in the 27 shootings citywide from 6 p.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Monday, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) said. 

The murder victims were all men and ranging in age from 26 to 40, police said. The suspects in the three shootings are still on the loose. 

The Memorial Day weekend usually sees violence across Windy City neighborhoods. Last year’s Memorial Day weekend saw the most shootings since 2015 with at least nine people fatally shot and dozens more wounded.

MIAMI

Miami authorities released surveillance video Monday showing a group of men with weapons pulling up beside a banquet hall where two people were killed early Sunday morning and scores were injured. The vehicle they were traveling in was found hours later submerged in a canal. 
(Miami-Dade Police Department)

At least two people were killed and 23 others were wounded during the Miami area’s violent Memorial Day weekend, law enforcement authorities said.

A manhunt continued Tuesday for three masked suspects who opened fire early Sunday outside a Miami banquet hall. On Monday, police released a surveillance camera video that showed a white SUV driving into an alley at a strip mall housing El Mula Banquet Hall in northwest Miami-Dade County, near Hialeah.

The video showed three people getting out of the vehicle, one gripping a handgun while the other two carried what police described as “assault-style rifles.” They began spraying bullets indiscriminately into the crowd, though police said the assailants had specific targets in mind.

In addition to the two fatalities, three others were hospitalized in critical condition. Police did not release the victims’ names, citing privacy laws.

Then, Miami Beach police received multiple 911 calls reporting a shooting just after 11:30 p.m. Monday. Officers found one person struck in the shoulder and another in the leg, spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said in a social media post. Both were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

NEW ORLEANS

New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson speaks to reporters. 

There were more than a half-dozen shootings across New Orleans that left three dead, including a 12-year-old, and at least 12 others injured, according to the city’s police department.

The child was fatally shot Sunday night at a birthday party in the Holy Cross neighborhood, WWL-TV reported. First responders took her to the hospital, where she died from her injuries. Also injured were a 19-year-old man and an unknown third victim, who were both hospitalized.

The shooting was one of several such incidents in New Orleans this weekend, as the city gets aid from Louisiana State Police in patrolling high-crime areas. In a change of strategy, state troopers will be added to patrols in several neighborhoods and not just exclusively in the French Quarter.

“We have seen increases in homicides. We’ve seen increases in non-fatal shootings. We have seen increases in carjackings,” said New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.

NEW YORK 

There were 20 shootings reported in the Big Apple from Friday through Monday, with 26 wounded victims, the New York Police Department told Fox News. Fifteen people were shot on Monday alone, police said. 

Seven murders were reported over the four-day period, a decrease of one compared to last year’s holiday weekend. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

If you’ve got a news tip, you can reach Stephanie Pagones at [email protected]

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