Virginia Beach tragedy takes US mass shootings to 150 in 151 days

The United States has had 150 mass shootings in just the 151 days of 2019 so-far.

The shocking statistic comes just as 13 people lost their lives in a shooting a Virginia Beach.

Four others were wounded in the attack, after a gunman opened fire inside a building at the Virginia Beach Municipal Centre shortly after 4pm on May 31.

The shooter, believed to be an employee of the public utilities department, was killed by police at the scene.

Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who leads gun violence prevention organisation Giffords, said the group’s ‘hearts and our sorrow’ were with victim’s families.

She said: ‘We’re only 151 days into 2019 and there have already been 150 mass shootings. This reality is horrifying. It’s heartbreaking.

‘The fact that our nation’s leaders continue to fail to protect us should fuel outrage in every American.

‘The stories of survivors from Virginia Beach touch on a familiar refrain: The peace of the workday shattered by the sound of gunfire.

‘Coworkers huddled on the floor trying to stay quiet as the shooting gets closer. The disbelief that it’s finally happening to them. Our hearts and our sorrow are in Virginia tonight.’

Ms Giffords was a victim of the 2011 Tuscan shooting, after a man opened fire on a constituent meeting being held in Arizona on January 8.

Six people were killed and Ms Giffords survived with a gun shot wound to the head.

She returned to her role as congresswoman in August, but announced the following year she would be resigning to concentrate on her recovery.

Now she is calling US leaders to ‘keep deadly weapons from landing in dangerous hands’ and urged them to turn the Bipartisan Background Checks Act into law.

The legislation, which requires background checks in private sales, has already been passed by the US House of Representatives.

According to the gun violence archive, there have been 22,082 shooting incidents so far in 2019, with 5,811 people killed.

Of those killed or injured, 245 were children, while 1,094 were in their teens.

The first mass shooting of the year was recorded in Tallahassee, Florida, on January 1, with five people injured.

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