Downtown Orlando mass shooting: Seven people injured as fight results in gunfire 

Police Chief Eric Smith confirmed in a press conference that seven people were injured in a mass shooting (Image via Twitter @/OrlandoPolice)
Police Chief Eric Smith confirmed in a press conference that seven people were injured in a mass shooting (Image via Twitter @/OrlandoPolice)

In the early hours of Sunday, July 31, a fight broke out in downtown Orlando, which ended in gunfire. Seven people were injured in the abrupt shooting. According to police reports, the victims have been hospitalized and are in stable condition.

The shooting took place around 2 am near Wall Street Plaza and South Orange Avenue in Orlando, Florida. In a subsequent press conference held at 4 am, Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith said that the six victims were taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center. The seventh victim drove themselves to Advent Health.

The shooter, who was armed with a handgun and opened fire on a huge crowd in the middle of a brawl, is yet to be identified by the police. During the briefing, Smith urged the community to come forward with further information or leads about the suspect.

"If anybody has any information please call us at 911...we need the community's help on this, so please reach out to us if you have any information, references to this shooting."

A preliminary investigation is underway. The shooter is still at large, though the area has been declared safe by authorities.

According to the Orlando Police Department:

"We have increased safety measures and resources in the area and are already looking at increasing those resources and security measures further. Additionally, we are working with businesses in the area to see if there are any videos of the incident."

Witnesses came forward to describe the horrific scene, which took place as bars and clubs were closing for the night on Sunday. Karen Dabrowski, who was present when the shooting started, told FOX 35 News:

"It was like a rampage. People were scattering all around. People were falling down. People were jumping over each other. It was chaotic, because in the world we're living in today, you don't know what's gonna happen."

Demand for gun laws intensifies as Orlando mass shooting joins already long list of US shootings in 2022

Based on data collected by non-profit organization, The Gun Violence Archive, until July 31, there had been 382 mass shootings in the US in 2022 alone. The total number of deaths due to gun violence has reached a record high of 25,773.

No city or town in America has been able to escape the clutches of gun violence. On July 30, a disagreement at a restaurant resulted in a shooting that injured five people in Wheeling, Illinois.

On the same day, a 34-year-old man lost his life to a shooting in a small town of 200 people in Georgia. Five others sustained injuries. Ryan Mobley, a resident, told WJBF:

"I mean it’s just, it’s devastating really ‘cause you just wouldn’t think anything like that would happen in Girard because everybody is so– you know– so close. All the– everybody’s just really close around here ‘cause we’re a small community."

The latest shooting in Orlando joins this long string of gun-related incidents which have rattled America since the beginning of this year.

In June, Congress passed a gun control bill, the most significant step taken towards gun regulation in the country in several decades. Among other things, the reform asks for tougher background checks for buyers younger than the age of 21. The bill awaits President Joe Biden's approval to be signed into law.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal