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PHILADELPHIA, UNITED STATES - 3 JULY: A view of a crime scene from the mass shooting in Philadelphia, United States on 3 July 2023. Four people were killed, and two were injured in the shooting. There didn't appear to be a connection between the shooter and the victims. (Photo by Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Fireworks and Gunfire Mark Independence Day Weekend in United States

There were at least 15 incidents of mass shootings in the United States between 1 and 4 July, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The shootings killed 17 people and injured 90 others.

It’s not unusual for mass violence to occur in the United States during holidays or periods of hot weather. In 2022, for instance, a gunman opened fire on an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois. This year’s violence, however, involved multiple incidents of seemingly random attacks.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a 40-year-old man killed one person in a house before fatally shooting four others and wounding two children as they sat in vehicles or walked by on the street on 3 July, the Associated Press reported. Police cornered the gunman in an alley, where he surrendered. He was armed with an assault rifle, a pistol, extra magazines of ammunition, a police scanner, and a bulletproof vest. He appears to have no connection to the victims.

A few hours later, at least three people were killed and eight wounded in a mass shooting after a local festival in Fort Worth, Texas. The motive for the shooting and the number of suspects involved were unclear, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

A day earlier, 28 people were injured and two killed after multiple suspects opened fire on an outdoor neighborhood block party in Baltimore, Maryland. The party attracted hundreds of people and featured pony rides, dancing, and refreshments, local media reported. Around half of the victims in the shooting were children. Investigators are still looking for suspects and a motive.

On the Fourth of July, three people were killed and six wounded at a holiday celebration in Shreveport, Louisiana. Law enforcement officers had a difficult time reaching victims because the scene was so crowded with vehicles and people, officials said.

At around 1:00 a.m. on 5 July, nine people outside enjoying the holiday festivities in Washington, D.C., were shot and wounded. The gunshots were fired from a dark SUV driving through the Deanwood neighborhood, and police called the shooting targeted. No arrests have been made, the AP reported.

The United States has been struggling with a large number of mass shootings so far this year—more than 340 in the first six months of 2023. The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as an incident in which at least four people are shot, not including the shooter. This year, more than 21,000 people have died due to gun violence in the United States—more than half of which were suicides, the Gun Violence Archive tallies.

People who witness gun violence, are injured, or were connected to a victim are at high risk of mental health impacts, NPR reported. Children within a five-block radius of a shooting were more likely to end up in a hospital emergency room in the weeks after the incident with symptoms of mental health problems like anxiety or suicidal thoughts, according to a study from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly one in five American adults said they lost a family member to gun violence.

People in this situation can become hyper-vigilant, on edge, or have trouble sleeping, eating, or leaving loved ones alone. While most people recover from these symptoms over time, around 25 percent of individuals experience the symptoms long-term, NPR reported. Adults can also can develop some behavioral health issues such as substance abuse, social withdrawal, or suicidal thoughts.

First responders and security professionals are frequently confronted by incidents of violence, which can lead to higher rates of trauma. Employers can help by fostering a trauma-informed workplace and investing in mental health resources and support.


If you are experiencing difficult thoughts or having trouble processing a traumatic experience, you are not alone. Help is available by dialing 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in the United States or dialing 911 for emergencies.

ASIS members can also join the new Mental Health and Wellness Working Group on ASIS Connects to talk with fellow security professionals about mental health challenges and resources.