‘Staggering’: Biden breaks from agenda to grapple with bloodshed plaguing big cities

CHICAGO — It was 6 a.m. last week when news broke of a mass shooting in Chicago. Eight people were shot, five of whom died. By 7:30 a.m. a White House official was on the phone with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office.

What could they do to help?

The slaughter was the third mass shooting in just over a week in Chicago, alone. A day earlier, another mass shooting injured 14 people and killed one in Austin, Texas. On Father’s Day in Sumter County, Florida, nine people were shot, one fatally, after a burst of gunfire at an annual event.

The list goes on. Just about every major U.S. city has seen mass shootings in recent weeks. But with the typical upswing in violent crime over the summer months just beginning, President Joe Biden also finds himself in the midst of a killing spree on pace to surpass the U.S. spiraling of gun violence from last year.