Gunfire left dozens of Americans dead or wounded this Fourth of July weekend as they celebrated the holiday or just enjoyed the time off.
In Chicago, 17 people were shot to death and 70 wounded, all in what appear to be separate crimes that police blame on feuds and warfare between rival gangs.
The dead include a 14-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl shot in the head outside her grandmother's house during a Fourth of July party. Police say 11 other children are among the wounded.
Chicago isn't the only U.S. city where children lost their lives over the weekend. Other victims include a 6-year-old boy in San Francisco; another 6-year-old boy in Philadelphia; an 11-year-old girl in Columbia, Missouri; an 8-year-old girl in Atlanta, and an 8-year-old boy in Hoover, Alabama.
'You shot and killed a baby'
The Atlanta shooting happened near the Wendy's restaurant where Rayshard Brooks, an African American man, died in police custody June 12. The fast food outlet was later burned, and the area has become a site for frequent demonstrations against police brutality.
Police said the girl's mother tried to drive through illegally placed barricades when shots were fired at their vehicle Saturday night.
"You shot and killed a baby," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. "And there wasn't just one shooter, there were at least two shooters."
Police in the nation's capital also are looking for clues in the shooting death of an 11-year-old award-winning youth football player. Davon McNeal had stopped by a cookout to pick up a phone charger and earbuds when a gunfight broke out on the street while July Fourth fireworks were exploding over the National Mall.
Police say McNeal's mother, Crystal, was known in her neighborhood for mediating between feuding gangs and negotiating truces. But it is unclear if her intervention had anything to do with her son's killing.
The coach of Davon's football team said Davon wanted to become a pro player, saying kids like him are being robbed of their lives "for nothing."
'I want all of us to feel this loss'
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, referring to the 13 children who were wounded or killed, on Monday called them "our children."
"I say our children because I want all of us to feel this loss. It feels personal to me," she said. "Thoughts and prayers are simply not enough at this point. Sorrow itself is not enough. What it says is we need to do better as a city."
The mayor also spoke directly to the young men whom she said "shot indiscriminately into crowds."
"I sincerely pray on behalf of a grieving city that you are able to recognize the consequences of what you have done, the souls you have ruptured, and I pray that you find the purpose … that is obviously lacking in your lives," she said.
Police said Monday they do not know how many suspects have been arrested in the weekend spate of shootings.
A suspect has been taken into custody for questioning in the killing of Natalia Wallace, the 7-year-old girl shot down outside her grandmother's house in Chicago.
Natalia's father told police his daughter was on the sidewalk when as many as three men jumped out of a car and stared firing at another group of men nearby.
Police Superintendent David Brown said part of the problem is the inability of the justice system to keep violent criminals behind bars. He said programs where suspects are fitted with electronic monitors are "clearly not working" because there are too many to track.
He also said gang members who are released from jails early intimidate witnesses.
"Gangsters threaten not just you if you come forward, they threaten your family," he said.