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53 people killed in US mass shootings in August: NYT

At least 53 people were killed in mass shootings across the United States in August, the New York Times reports, pointing to the country’s expanding gun violence problem.

On Saturday, a gunman killed seven people by opening fire on passing cars in Odessa, Texas before being gunned down by police officers.

The shooting, which also injured 21 people, marked a rather macabre ending for the month, which began with yet another deadly shooting again in Texas.

On August 3, another gunman opened fire on people inside a Walmart in El Paso, killing 22 of them and injuring dozens more.

A total of 38 mass shootings have taken place in the US in 2019, leaving the country on edge and prompting a more intense debate over gun control amid President Donald Trump’s refusal to hold the gun lobby to the account.

The president, who enjoys strong support from the National Rifle Association, has so far resisted calls for stricter gun laws ahead of the 2020 White House battle, where he is expected to take on a crowded field of Democrats who are almost unanimously calling for gun control laws that they think will prevent such incidents.

While definition for mass killings vary according to various law enforcement agencies in the US, the term Justice Department defines it as shootings where three or more people are in a single episode, excluding the death of a gunman.

These are some of the deadliest mass shootings that have occurred in the US so far this year:

Dayton, Ohio – August 4

A gunman has shot and killed nine people and wounded 16 others at an arts and entertainment district in downtown Dayton, Ohio.

El Paso – August 3

an American national identified as Patrick Crusius went on a shooting spree at a Walmart store in the US border city, killing 22 people, including eight Mexicans, a tragic event that Mexico City immediately described as a terrorist act.

Virginia Beach – May 31

A city engineer killed at least twelve people and hurt six others before killing himself in a shooting at a municipal center in Virginia Beach, Virginia.