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2 killed, 1 injured in Texas shooting, latest in a series of US gun violence incidents

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Scene of a shooting that left two people dead and another injured in Houston Thursday evening. (Photo by Houston Police Department)

Two people were killed in Houston, a large metropolis in the US state of Texas, late on Thursday in what police believe to be a case of murder-suicide, according to reports.

A woman was also shot and rushed to a hospital in an injured state, reports said.

The identity of two male victims has not been released yet, as the motive remains unclear. Police said they were not looking for any other suspects, according to Houston Chronicle.

“This is a horribly tragic incident,” Houston police chief Matt Slinkard said during a news conference at the scene. “This is the type of situation that should make us all pause and send out as many prayers as we can, for all of the families and all the lives that will be affected by such a tragic incident like this.”

The surveillance footage showed the suspect sitting across the bar from the woman and man involved in the shooting. The two parties did not appear to be together, Slinkard said, according to the daily.

At some point, as the man and woman were finishing dinner, the suspect got up from the bar and "in a very quick manner" walked over to them. He immediately started firing multiple rounds, fatally striking the man and injuring the woman, he said, reported by the Houston Chronicle.

The suspect died from a self-inflected gunshot wound, the police officer said, adding that the investigation is in its early stages and that detectives were seeking witnesses.  

Mass shootings on rise

The incidents of mass shootings have seen an alarming surge in the US in recent years, reigniting the debate over gun control laws and misuse of lethal weapons.

At least 233 people were killed and 618 were injured by gun violence in more than 500 shootings across the US during the July 4 weekend, according to the latest data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive.

Earlier this week, New York governor Andrew Cuomo declared America's first state of emergency on gun violence, saying it's now claiming more lives than COVID-19 pandemic.

“Treat gun violence as it is which is really a public health emergency, that's what it is and that's how we are going to treat it,” he said on Tuesday. "So today, the first state in the nation is going to declare a disaster emergency on gun violence.

In the first five months of 2021, gunfire killed more than 8,100 people in the US, accounting for about 54 lives lost per day, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive.  

This year, the number of casualties, along with the overall number of shootings that have killed or injured at least one person, exceeds those of the first five months of 2020, which finished as the deadliest year of gun violence in at least two decades, according to Washington Post data.

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