May 20, 2023 -ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — On a September day that he knew would be hard, 51-year-old Damone Presley marked the occasion with barbecue and balloons.
He was commemorating the one-year anniversary of the day in 2021 that his daughter and her three friends were fatally shot in Minnesota by a man who left their bodies in an abandoned SUV in a Wisconsin cornfield. Presley gathered 50 friends to celebrate the life of his daughter, Nitosha Flug-Presley, who was 30 when she died. He went big on the anniversary because he felt sure that’s what his daughter would have wanted.
“She would always do stuff big,” Presley told The Associated Press.
There have been 553 mass killings in the United States since 2006, and at least 2,880 people have died, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University. Those include killings where four or more died, not including the assailant, within a 24-hour period. So far in 2023, the nation has witnessed the highest number on record of mass killings and deaths to this point in a single year.