Update, Oct. 4: Philadelphia Police said another person, a 19-year-old man, was fatally shot in Kingsessing shortly after midnight Tuesday, bringing the number of people killed overnight to six. Commissioner Danielle Outlaw addressed the violence at a news conference Tuesday morning.
Five people were killed in shootings in Philadelphia on Monday, police said, bringing the city’s annual total of homicides to its highest level since 2007.
Two people were shot and killed in West Oak Lane around 6:30 p.m. Monday. A man in his early 20s was shot in the back of the head and transported to Einstein, where he was pronounced dead at 7:04 p.m. A 21-year-old man was killed in a Lowe’s parking lot at a South Philadelphia shopping center on Monday afternoon after being shot nine times, before being pronounced dead at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital at 1:20 p.m. And a 22-year-old man was killed in a shooting in the city’s Castor section just after 5 p.m. on the 1300 block of Fanshawe Street.
The West Oak Lane victims, a 48-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man, were pronounced dead at the scene. The woman was shot once in the head and the man was shot multiple times in the body. The weapon was recovered in the basement, and no arrest was made.
As of Sunday, 355 people have been killed by gun violence in Philadelphia, up 38% when compared to last year’s numbers. As of late September, 1,569 people had been shot in the city this year, more than the annual total for any year since 2007, when the city recorded 1,597 victims.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw decried the violence.
“Today, our city reached a grim milestone” she said. “With almost three months remaining in the year and the insidious gun violence we continue to witness, today has exceeded the number of murders our City faced during the entirety of 2019. Just one murder is too many, and we must continue to work together within the community and with our City, State and Federal partners in order for lasting progress to be made.”
Outlaw plans to hold a news conference Tuesday morning to address the increase in gun violence.
Mayor Jim Kenney said he was “heartbroken” by the gun violence in Philadelphia this year. He said the administration is scaling up efforts to address the issue, using evidence-based strategies that support the Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities, the city’s comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence rates.
“Hundreds of lives have been cut tragically short, families torn apart, and communities traumatized,” Kenney said. “We continue to battle the long-running public health crisis of gun violence, which we are fighting on top of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis. The combination makes for a challenging and unprecedented time in our city.”
The double homicide in West Oak Lane was the latest in a spate of violence. Over the weekend, there were 12 shootings, two of them fatal.
Omar Wade, 15, was killed Sunday in a double shooting in the Girard Park area of South Philadelphia near 22nd and Jackson Streets. He was shot in the head and the left thigh, police said. The other person who was shot, an 18-year-old man, is hospitalized in critical condition as of Monday morning at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Police said they had not made any arrests or identified a motive or possible offender and are investigating the shooting as a homicide.
As homicides and shootings rise, more and more children are becoming victims of the violence. As of August, people under the age of 18 have accounted for nearly 1 in 10 of Philadelphia’s shooting victims this year, more than any other year since at least 2015.