Philly reaches 400 homicides as officials decry violence

Mayor Jim Kenney said his administration will distribute violence prevention grants to neighborhood groups this week.
Metro file

Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner separately expressed outrage Sunday at the levels of violence in Philadelphia, as the city surpassed 400 homicides for the year.

Over the weekend, at least 17 people were shot and five were killed. The city is on pace to reach its highest number of murders on record.

“My heart goes out to all families suffering from enormous grief,” Kenney tweeted Sunday morning. “Our administration continues to act with urgency to reduce violence and save lives.”

Kenney assured his social media followers that his administration “takes this crisis very seriously.” This week, his office will distribute a round of violence prevention grants to community organizations working to reduce shootings, he added.

Police are “making arrests and taking a record number of illegal firearms off our streets, but they need the public’s help,” the mayor said, encouraging residents to call police if they have information about violent incidents.

Krasner, who has occasionally clashed with Kenney over the best ways to combat crime, said arrests have been made in less than a third of homicide cases and in only 15% of non-fatal shootings this year.

“We have seen cycles of increased homicides before, and we have more research and data than ever on which to formulate solutions,” Krasner said in a statement.

He called for increased use of forensic technology, better training and staffing levels and greater accountability so potential witnesses trust police enough to come forward.

On Sunday, a 31-year-old woman died not long after being shot in the chest just before 5:15 a.m. at the corner of Hancock and Lippincott streets in the Fairhill section of North Philadelphia, authorities said.

A 39-year-old man was also injured in the shooting, and police said he was hospitalized in critical condition with a gunshot wound to his chest.

A third victim, a 37-year-old man, turned up at Jefferson Frankford Hospital with a gunshot wound to his right shoulder. His injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.

Investigators said a triple shooting Saturday night in North Philadelphia left one man dead and two others injured.

It happened at around 10:30 p.m. on the 2700 block of N. 26th Street. A 39-year-old man was shot in the mouth and chest, and officers rushed him to Temple University Hospital, where he died a short time later.

Police said a 38-year-old man was struck in the right calf, and a 52-year-old man was grazed in the arm. Both are expected to physically recover.

Gunshots erupted at around 9:30 p.m. Saturday on the 2300 block of Jackson Street in South Philadelphia, and a man, described as approximately 28 years old, was hit four times. He later died at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, according to police.

Another victim, a 35-year-old man, was shot seven times in the upper body. Authorities said he was hospitalized in critical condition.

Just before 9 p.m. Saturday, a 37-year-old man was shot in the head and face outside on the 600 block of W. Bristol Street in the Hunting Park neighborhood, police said.

He succumbed to his injuries about 15 minutes later at Temple University Hospital.

A 30-year-old man died after being shot several times just before 2 a.m. Saturday inside a corner store on the 3000 block of Kensington Avenue in Kensington, investigators said. Officers at the scene recovered a gun, but no one was arrested.

Police said no suspects were apprehended in the immediate aftermath of any of the shootings.

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