In a span of less than 12 hours in Philadelphia, four people were injured in a drive-by shooting, a man killed an alleged thief and a 9-year-old boy died after being shot in the face.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw called the violent stretch “ridiculous,” while Mayor Jim Kenney blamed the violence on widespread availability of firearms. He said it takes more effort to acquire a driver’s license or library card than a gun.
“I think there’s just too many damn guns in our society in the hands of people who don’t use them properly and don’t secure them properly,” Kenney said. “As long as guns are unfettered in our society, we’re going to have high homicide and shooting rates.”
Violent crime is down slightly compared to last year, but two of the most serious offenses, homicides and shootings, are up significantly.
“Summer is coming,” Outlaw told FOX29. “Our kids are already out of school. We’re seeing mothers with young children taking cover behind cars to avoid gunshots. This has to stop.”
Officers were called to a house at around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday on the 5900 block of N. 20th Street in East Germantown and found a 9-year-old in the back bedroom with a gunshot wound to his head.
The boy was rushed to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he died 20 minutes later. Adult family members were in the house at the time of shooting.
Detectives continue to investigate his death, and police have not said whether the shooting was accidental. Arrests have yet to be made.
“There’s evidence to believe that there might be some negligence involved in this but obviously the investigation is ongoing and the more we learn hopefully we can bring some resolve to this very unfortunate situation,” Outlaw told TV crews at the scene.
Early Wednesday morning, police were called to Port Richmond, where they found an unresponsive 39-year-old man with gunshot wounds to his shoulder and back on the 2700 block of E. Thompson Street.
Medics pronounced him dead at the scene just after 4 a.m.
He had reportedly been attempting to steal DJ equipment from a trailer parked nearby on Somerset Street when the owner of the supplies caught him and opened fire.
Authorities arrested the shooter, a 37-year-old man, but have not released his name or any charges against him.
Four men were injured when someone fired out of a dark blue or black Nissan at 8 a.m. Wednesday on the 1800 block of Hart Lane in Kensington, according to police.
Two of the victims were shot in the leg, one in the abdomen and another suffered a graze wound to his right cheek, authorities said. None of the injuries were life-threatening, and no arrests have been made.
A 21-year-old man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition just after 4 a.m. Wednesday when he was shot while on the front porch of a house on the 2200 block of W. Tioga Street in North Philly, according to police.
He is being treated at Temple University Hospital for a gunshot wound to his abdomen.
In addition, a 21-year-old man was shot in the buttocks at around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday on the 1500 block of Womrath Street in Frankford. He didn’t cooperate with police, authorities said, and is listed in stable condition at Temple Hospital.
Three others were injured in stabbings Tuesday and Wednesday.
In Kensington, police recovered a weapon after a 25-year-old man was stabbed in the shoulder at 1:45 p.m. inside a property on the 2000 block of Kingston Street. He is in stable condition, and investigators continue to search for a suspect.
A 59-year-old man was stabbed in the shoulder and face by someone he knew at around 7 p.m. Tuesday on the 4800 block of N. Lawrence Street in Olney. His injuries are not life-threatening, police said.
About an hour earlier, a 18-year-old man was stabbed twice in the right forearm at the intersection of Forrest Avenue and Sedgwick Street in Cedarbrook. He was taken to the hospital, and police have not made any arrests.