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Mass shooting at condo complex isn't a Chicago thing. It's uniquely American

By Rex Huppke, Tribune Content Agency on

They were eating dinner when the shooting started.

That's a pretty American sentence, when you think about it.

Shootings just happen in this country. During dinner. During mass. During parties and picnics. On shopping trips. At class. In movie theaters.

Four people were eating dinner Saturday night in a condo on Chicago's Northwest Side when a 66-year-old neighbor came in and opened fire.

The man, who police say had a history of confrontations with the building's residents, left the first condo and went to another where he shot a 53-year-old woman.

All five victims, three men and two women, are dead. The alleged shooter, Krysztof Marek, was charged Monday morning with five felony counts of first-degree murder. And other neighbors in the condo complex are, of course, shaken.

 

Bill Popper, 67, has lived there for five years. He told the Tribune he's scared. And he summed up the tragedy in a way that struck me: "That's Chicago."

With respect to Mr. Popper, that's incorrect. Saturday's mass shooting isn't a Chicago thing, it's a uniquely American thing.

The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit group that tracks gun violence across the country, defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are either killed or injured.

By that metric, on the same day as Chicago's condo shooting, there were four other mass shootings in the country: one killed, three injured in Baltimore; six injured in Eastpointe, Michigan; one killed, three injured in Philadelphia; and four killed, three injured in Brooklyn.

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