Three people were killed and two more were wounded in a shooting at a Missouri nightclub early Sunday, marking one of at least three mass shootings in the US this weekend.
The killings at the Klymax Lounge in Kansas City, Missouri, and a separate shooting in Birmingham, Alabama, helped bring the number of mass shootings in the US so far this year to about 230, data from the Gun Violence Archive shows.
Authorities did not immediately publicly release the names of the victims in the Kansas City shooting. However, on social media, friends of one Jason McConnell identified him as one of the victims.
McConnell’s stepdaughter, Honystye Chancellor, told the Guardian on Sunday that her stepfather was a caring person and was well-loved in the community.
“Almost everybody in Kansas City knew him,” she said. “He treated everybody [well].”
She added: “He liked to dress – he could dress really good.”
In the Alabama shooting, which happened at about the same time as the shooting in Kansas City, four people were wounded outside a bar.
The shooting in Birmingham came after another shooting in that city on Friday that victimized four people at a birthday party, including one who was killed.
The bloodshed comes as the US remains on track to have its deadliest year in terms of mass shootings in recent memory.
The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as one in which four victims are killed or wounded, and the great number of such cases in the country has led to persistent but unheeded calls for Congress to enact meaningful gun control.
The Klymax Lounge describes itself as the “newest addition to the nightlife” in Kansas City and made its first social media appearance in April 2021. From the photos on its Instagram page, it appears to regularly host live performances by musicians and other entertainers.
According to police, one of those shot to death there on Sunday was found outside the club. Another was found dead inside the club, and the third died after being brought to a hospital.
One of the two people wounded was in critical condition.
As of midday on Sunday, Chancellor said she had not received a formal notification from authorities about McConnell’s death in the Kansas City shooting.
She became aware of it at about 3am when she received numerous phone calls from friends, as word spread quickly about the shooting.
She is the legal guardian of McConnell’s 15-year-old boy, the oldest among his three sons.
“We just talked on Friday,” Chancellor said, when McConnell shared with her about his new job at a truck stop. He was a “jack of all trades”, she said, working many different jobs.
While McConnell sometimes worked security, at the time of the shooting he was working in a different capacity and therefore did not have a protective vest that he customarily wore when the shooting erupted.
The Guardian has contacted the Klymax Lounge and the Kansas City police for additional comment.
In Alabama on Friday, one person died and three others were injured when someone began shooting at them at a birthday celebration in front of an apartment, Birmingham police said in a statement.
One woman who was injured was not struck by any bullets but was counted as a victim because she was hurt during the attack.
On Sunday, less than an hour before the Kansas City shooting, another shooting outside a bar in Birmingham wounded four people in what was described as “an exchange of gunfire”.
Chancellor said she hoped authorities made it a priority to bring to justice those responsible for the weekend’s violence.
“I just hope that they do what they need to do to find out who did this, not only to him but to all those other people as well,” Chancellor said. “They [were] somebody’s mom, dad, brother, sister.”