The pops you just heard may not necessarily have been fireworks celebrating the arrival of 2016. They could likely be that all-too-common sound in the United States, gunfire, and that sound’s result: dead people. Just a few hours into the new year, several people have been killed by guns in the US.
A 16-year-old was shot in the head less than 30 minutes before the ball fell in New York on New Year's Eve, police said. Officers found a young man’s body at about 11:30 p.m., responding to a report. He was initially unconscious but pronounced dead at the scene.
The first of Chicago’s 2016 homicide victims was attending a New Year’s Eve party when a fight spilled into the street, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Witnesses said that the 24-year-old victim was shot in the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another victim in the same city, a 36-year-old, was driving his SUV when he heard shots and realized he was hit, Chicago Police said. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he died.
A shooting in Los Angeles killed four shortly before the stroke of midnight.
According to witness reports, a 54-year-old male took a handgun for reasons yet unknown and began shooting others around him. The shooter’s 33-year-old son wrestled the gun away but shot and killed his father in the process. The son is now in custody.
The Florida city of Jacksonville saw its first slaying of the new year only 15 minutes after midnight. A second shooting death occurred eight hours later.
In the first case, police responded to a report of gunshots, finding a man in his 40s critically wounded, and who died soon after being taken to the hospital. Later, at 7:50 a.m., police found the body of a man believed to be in his 50s in his home who, it was reported, appeared to have been shot while at the front door through a locked and barred burglar door.