Fight between two women erupts in gunfire leaving 11 wounded in Savannah mass shooting

The shooting was one of five in Savannah, Georgia, over the weekend

Via AP news wire
Monday 20 May 2024 16:19 BST
Police on the scene of the shooting in Savannah, Georgia, in the early hours of Sunday
Police on the scene of the shooting in Savannah, Georgia, in the early hours of Sunday

An argument between two women led to a gunfight that left 11 people hurt in a busy tourist area of Savannah, Georgia, late on Saturday – just one of five shootings in the city over the weekend.

The shooting broke out as two women argued in an area business, according to Police Chief Lenny Gunther, who didn't name the establishment.

“One shot rang out. That triggered other individuals to shoot,” he said. “We had multiple individuals discharge their weapons to shoot at each other, which resulted in multiple people getting shot.”

Ten of the 11 injured were hit by gunfire. Authorities did not say what caused the 11th injury.

The victims were treated at the scene and “several” were taken to a hospital, police said. None of the injuries appeared life threatening.

The shooting came after a string of other shootings over the weekend, two of which were fatal.

The first two of Savannah’s weekend shootings happened Friday. Each of those resulted in one person suffering a non-life-threatening injury and a suspect being arrested.

Two more shootings unfolded on Saturday, each resulting in one death. In one incident, police responded to a call about a home invasion and found a dead juvenile at the home. Initial reports are that shots were fired after a resident confronted an armed intruder.

Then came a shooting just before midnight on Saturday near Savannah’s Ellis Square. One man was killed and a juvenile injured in that incident.

Mayor Van Johnson said a proliferation of guns was a factor in the shootings and that reasonable gun control laws are needed. He also stressed the need for gun owners to keep their weapons from being stolen and for people carrying guns to know how and when to use them.

“We have to insist on smart gun laws,” Mr Johnson said at a Sunday news conference. “And then, on the other end, we have to insist that people act responsibly with those weapons.”

The mass shooting happened a week ahead of the tourist-heavy Memorial Day weekend.

Chief Gunther sought to assure people that police staffing will be sufficient to keep the public safe during the holiday.

Ellis Square is in Savannah's historic district, an area popular among tourists and locals. It was developed in 2010 and is known for a large fountain and a life-sized statue of songwriter Johnny Mercer.

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