PHILADELPHIA – On the streets of Philadelphia, 2022 has started where 2021 has left off. It took less than four hours for 14 people to come under fire, two of them killed in two separate explosions of violence. One of the dead was only 16 years old.
Police responded to calls about a person shot dead on Cecil B. Moore Avenue between Wellington and 17th Street near Temple University at around 1:50 a.m. on Saturday. Police found two people who had been shot, including a 16-year-old boy with a single gunshot wound to the back of his head. The other was a 27-year-old man who had been shot in the left leg. Both were rushed to Temple University Hospital, where the teenager died shortly after arriving. The man has been listed in stable condition. Police did not identify the victims.
Two women and a man were also shot and wounded at the scene, and the Temple University police took the three of them to Temple Hospital. A 23-year-old woman was shot in the leg and another woman, around 20, was shot in the pelvis. Both were in stable condition on Saturday afternoon. A man, also around 20, was shot several times in the chest and is in critical condition, police said.
All of the victims were part of a large group gathered to celebrate the New Year. No weapons were recovered, police said.
“We don’t have a lot of information on the shooter,” Inspector DF Pace told reporters at the scene. But there are many surveillance cameras in the area.
“Our homicide detectives will comb through this video to see what else we can glean from what happened here tonight,” he said.
Shortly before this shooting, at around 1:30 a.m., officers in the 25th District received several calls about gunfire in the 100 block of East Luray Street, near North Front Street in Feltonville. Police found a 33-year-old man who had been shot several times in the chest. He was rushed to Temple Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Two women, both 23 years old and acquaintances of the victim, were shot in the leg. Police took them to Temple, where they were listed in stable condition.
The crime scene was an auto parts or repair shop that had been converted as the backdrop for a big New Year’s party. Police found six exhausted shell casings, one projectile and a significant amount of blood, reported said Pace.
Homicide detectives interviewed a number of revelers.
At 2:15 a.m., a man and a woman were shot dead on 8th and Cambria streets in the Fairhill section. A 36-year-old man was shot twice in the right leg and once in the left. A 22-year-old woman was shot in the right eye. Both were taken in a private vehicle to Temple Hospital, where they were in stable condition.
At 3:23 a.m., a 28-year-old man was shot twice in the lower leg on Torresdale Avenue and Howell Street in the Wissinoming section. He was in stable condition at Temple Hospital.
And there was a triple shooting in the 3900 block of Frankford Avenue, but police are yet to determine when the gunfire started. Police recovered weapons nearby. A 23-year-old man was shot in the leg and taken by private car to Temple Hospital. Two men, 21 and 23, both of whom were shot in the abdomen, entered St. Christopher’s Children’s Hospital. Both are listed in critical but stable condition, police said.
It was the continuation of a year in Philadelphia that reached an all-time high for murders. In 2021, at least 560 people were murdered, a higher number than in more densely populated cities like New York and Los Angeles.
The vast majority of homicides in Philadelphia have been committed with firearms. And the number of women killed has increased. As of Monday, 70 women were killed in homicides last year, an 84% jump from 2020.
On November 20, Jessica Covington, 32, who was pregnant, was shot several times in the head and stomach just after 8:30 p.m. in the 6100 block of Palmetto Street in Crescentville, where she lived. She and her unborn baby were killed. She had just left her own baby shower and was unloading presents from her vehicle when gunshots rang out, detectives said.
Last Thursday, a shootout broke out in Germantown, leaving a 21-year-old woman in critical condition and five men injured. Six armed men had jumped out of a van and opened fire on the group on a street corner. Some of these people fought back.
In total, more than 65 blows were traded on the 5100 block of Germantown Avenue near Collom Street.
The shooting prompted City Councilor Cindy Bass, who represents the area, to ask Mayor Jim Kenney and Governor Tom Wolf to send National Guard troops into the city to support the police department and help enforce the laws.
“We cannot fight the tragic escalation of gun violence alone,” Bass said in a statement.
Kenney said he had no plans to call in the National Guard. Earlier last year, he rejected similar calls made by community activists as the number of shootings skyrocketed.
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