As Munnah Mayo waited for the bus on South Street on Sunday afternoon, she had no idea that two separate shootings had taken place just blocks apart on the storied street over the weekend.
There was nothing to give her a clue that they had.
Tourists were still taking selfies outside of Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Garden; kids still skateboarded down the middle of the busy roadway; and more Philadelphia Parking Authority workers patrolled the street than police officers.
Mayo, 68, of South Philly, hadn’t heard about the South Street shootings but she had heard about the woman in the deli who was shot and killed Saturday in North Philadelphia.
“Fourteen shootings in one weekend! That’s unbelievable,” Mayo said. “That’s a damn crime.”
By the time the weekend was over, the number of shootings had risen to 19 with 28 victims, including five dead. The shootings took place on a playground, inside a deli, at a graduation party, and seemingly everywhere in between.
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At the graduation party attended by about 60 people on the 6900 block of Reed Bird Place near Paschall Playground in Southwest Philadelphia, six people were shot, including four teens between the ages of 15 and 16 who were listed in stable condition, police said. Isiaka Meite, 24, of the 6700 block of Doral Street was shot in the back and died from his injuries, police said. A 24-year-old man who was shot in the elbow was listed in stable condition.
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Mayo fears that the whole city is becoming desensitized to the unrelenting gun violence.
“When I first came here I used to cry all the time,” she said. “I don’t cry anymore.”
The first South Street shooting happened about 12:50 a.m. Saturday on the 400 block, home to Jim’s Steaks, Copabanana, and MilkBoy. There, a 21-year-old man was shot once in the left thigh and a 22-year-old man was shot once in the left leg. Both were listed in stable condition, police said.
Then at 2:58 a.m. Sunday at Ninth and South Streets — where there’s a Starbucks, a Wawa, and a police mini-station — a 22-year-old man was shot twice in the shoulder and twice in the abdomen. He remains in critical condition, police said.
“This weekend, there were shooting incidents across the city and unfortunately, our area was not immune from it,” Michael Harris Harris, South Street Headhouse District executive director, said in an emailed statement. “It’s an ongoing and alarming citywide challenge.”
In North Philadelphia at CBM Deli, April Coleman, 38, was in the shop on the 2200 block of Ridge Avenue when a gunman fired a revolver into the deli from the front door about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, striking Coleman in the head, police said. She was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Coleman’s death brought the city’s total homicides for the year to 146, up 8 percent compared with the same period a year ago and one ahead of the comparable total in 2017. Over the last decade, the average number of homicides through June 15 has been 118, according to police data.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross last month called it “alarming” that nearly 90 percent of the homicides this year had been committed with guns, about 5 percent higher than the typical share in recent years, and said he’d put more cops on the street this summer.
The weekend’s final shooting victim was 68-year-old Marlita Ann Smith, who was shot in the chest around 11:02 p.m. on the 5000 block of North 7th Street in Olney, where she lived, police said. Smith was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 11:50 p.m. Police were questioning her husband.
In that case an arrest was made and a weapon was recovered, according to authorities.
Also killed this weekend was a 24-year-old man who was shot in the 500 block of East Walnut Lane in East Germantown about 1:08 a.m. Sunday and a 42-year-old man who was shot on the 3300 block of North 20th Street around 1:53 a.m. Sunday in a double shooting that also injured a girl, 16, who was hit in her right arm and listed in stable condition.
Among the nonfatal shooting victims Sunday was a 26-year-old man who was shot in the thigh on a playground in the 200 block of East Olney Avenue about 4:40 p.m and two men, ages 17 and 19, who were shot in a double shooting around 10:08 p.m. on the 1800 block of South 31st Street in South Philadelphia.
At 10:17 p.m., a 26-year-old man was shot in the chest on the 5600 block of Market Street in West Philly and taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition.
In total, nine people were shot in just nine minutes between 10:08 and 10:17 p.m. Sunday in Philadelphia.
Other shootings victims this weekend, according to police, included: