The gun violence epidemic is hitting Philly hard this year.
Inqurier.com reports that 106 people under age 18 have been shot this year, and there’s still a month to go. It was reported that a child is shot in Philly every 3.7 days. To put that in perspective, almost twice a week, a young person is shot.
It was reported that last year, one of every 12 shooting victims was a child under age 18.
The most recent death dominating the headlines was that of girl who was shot as she exited a bus while traveling home over the weekend. Although the teen has not been named at this time, outlets are reporting that the victim was between 12 and 14.
This recent incident took place on Saturday at around 4:40 p.m., and it was reported that the victim was taken to Temple University Hospital and pronounced dead.
Officials have a 41-year-old male suspect in custody. They recovered the weapon. Inqurier.com reports that the suspect was arrested on the scene. He was charged with murder, three counts of attempted murder, illegal possession of a gun, reckless endangerment and other related charges.
Victoria Wylie, a South Philadelphia organizer whose brother was killed 11 years ago, told Inqurier.com that, “It’s upsetting that teenagers can’t be teenagers anymore. Things that were once just part of coming up and growing up, like going downtown to go shopping, you have to be afraid. It angers me.”
Wylie added, “Here you have a teenager who’s doing what’s normal at her age, 16 years old, and getting off the bus, and I would say doing nothing wrong, and she’s a victim of gun violence.”
The shootings have occurred at numerous hours and times of the day. They have also occurred in different locations, and residents feel powerless because no matter what a teen does, they are threatened by this unpredictable violence.
Felicia Pendleton, a mother from North Philadelphia whose son was killed in 2016 while home from college for spring break told Inqurier.com that, “You can do everything that you’re supposed to do, and it still doesn’t make you exempt.”
There are numerous examples of how something as simple as getting off a bus or walking home from school can result in a gun violence-related death — for example, a 10-year-old boy named Sameje O’Branty was shot while walking home from school.
Prior to that, 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera was shot in her mother’s arms while at home.
While sitting in a car, 11-month-old Yazeem Jenkins was shot.
Last week, a 16-year-old boy was shot, as was a 9-year-old — on the same day. The incidents were separate cases.