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Man killed and 5 others wounded in Fern Rock drive-by shooting

The shooting happened near the intersection of Broad Street and West Chew Avenue.

Police on the scene at West Chew Avenue and North Park Avenue in Philadelphia's Fern Rock neighborhood on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. Six people were reported wounded in a shooting, one fatally.
Police on the scene at West Chew Avenue and North Park Avenue in Philadelphia's Fern Rock neighborhood on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. Six people were reported wounded in a shooting, one fatally.Read moreJessica Griffin / Staff photographer

A 26-year-old man was killed and five other adults were wounded in a drive-by shooting Monday afternoon in the city’s Fern Rock section, police said.

The shooting happened just before 2:20 p.m. on the 1300 block of West Chew Avenue near Broad Street.

Five victims were taken by private vehicle to Einstein Medical Center, police said. The man, later identified as Steven Jones, who was fatally wounded was transported by police to the hospital, which is just a few blocks away. He was pronounced dead at 2:55.

The five surviving victims, including a 28-year-old woman, were listed in stable condition. No arrests were immediately reported.

The victims included a 22-year-old man shot in the right thigh, a 24-year-old man shot in the right forearm, a 25-year-old man who was wounded in the right hand, and a 19-year-old man shot in the right leg. The woman was shot in the right shoulder.

The victims apparently were standing on the south side of Chew Avenue when a man inside a silver Chrysler 300 pulled up and started shooting.

“They were just hanging out,” said Deputy Commissioner Joel Dales.

At least 18 shots were fired from the back seat of the vehicle, police said.

There were police officers on foot and on bicycle a block away at the time, and they were the first to respond, Dales said.

Most of the yellow police evidence markers lined the sidewalk in front of a Super Dollar store. They were clustered next to a Sweet Home Healthcare tent, with the phrase “compassion you can count on” written along the side, and three lawn chairs were perched beneath.

The scene is about a block from where eight people were shot in February, near the Olney Transportation Center.

An employee at a cell phone business on the corner of Broad and Chew, who asked not to be named out of fear of retribution, originally thought Monday’s shooting was someone drilling into the sidewalk.

But then the pops continued, and he heard people screaming.

”I look outside and see people running, then hear a woman screaming, ‘I got shot! I got shot!’ ” the employee said. He ran back inside and locked his doors.

“The people who travel here do not feel safe,” said Councilmember Cindy Bass, who represents the area and arrived at the scene to speak with police and the media. “And they don’t for good reason. This is not the first, second, third, fourth, fifth incident we’ve had in this area. It’s really outrageous.”

”Where is our mayor?” Bass said. “We need help. We need leadership. We need it here, in this neighborhood, in this community, and we need it now. This is ridiculous — ridiculous that they don’t feel safe.”

The shooting location is just around the corner from the Olney Transportation Center — one of the busiest transit hubs in the city — and the Philadelphia High School for Girls.

John Moore, 59, of Germantown, has always relied on Philadelphia public transit, frequently catching buses at the Broad and Olney Avenue stop. But for the past year or so, he said he has started walking to destinations more often or catching the bus from other stops, out of fear of standing in crowds and falling victim to a crime at the transit center.

”I don’t stand too long. Within, you know, an hour, I get walking. I don’t want to stand and be a target myself,” he said as he waited for a bus at Broad and Olney.

As of late Sunday night, there were 384 homicides in Philadelphia, up 16% from the same period last year, according to Police Department statistics. The city ended 2020 with 499 homicides.