Philadelphia reached a painful milestone Sunday when the killings of two men amid ongoing gun violence brought the city’s homicide toll to 300 for the year, the highest it’s been at the end of August since at least 2007.
That’s 300 people with 300 stories. Three hundred families altered in an instant, never to be the same again.
Between 2013 and 2016, Philadelphia didn’t reach 300 homicides in an entire year. This year, the city has marked that many killings in the first eight months.
According to data on the Philadelphia Police Department’s website, which dates to 2007, homicides are up 32% over the same time last year.
The last time Philly came anywhere close to having 300 homicides by the end of August was in 2007, when 276 people were killed before the start of September, and 391 people were killed by year’s end.
Philadelphia’s gun violence epidemic has not subsided this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, shootings have risen to levels not seen in years, with as many as 30 people being shot in a single weekend earlier this month.
This weekend, at least a 15 men were shot, two fatally, in shootings across the city. Here are accounts provided by police.
At 12:25 a.m. Sunday, officers responding to a large crowd at a street party in North Philly heard half a dozen gunshots nearby and found a man, whose identity has not been released, shot dead at the intersection of 24th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
A black Nissan Altima registered in Delaware was seen driving away and subsequently stopped on the 3400 block of Girard Avenue. The occupants were taken to the Homicide Unit for questioning, but police did not say whether charges were filed.
Less than two hours later and half a mile away, about 2:07 a.m. Sunday on the 2700 block of West Montgomery Avenue in North Philadelphia, a double shooting claimed the life of one man, who was shot in the head, and critically injured another, who was shot in his stomach, back, and shoulder. Police did not release the identity of either victim.
At 1:26 a.m. Sunday, on the 6100 block of Market Street in West Philly, a 19-year-old man was shot several times throughout his body, and a 23-year-old man was shot twice in each of his arms in another double shooting. Both men were taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where they remain in critical condition.
On Sunday afternoon in the city’s Tioga section, a 26-year-old man was shot twice on the left side of his neck, once in the left ear, and multiple times on his left arm around 3:30 p.m. on the 3600 block of North 19th Street. He remains in critical condition at Temple University Hospital.
And shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday, a triple shooting on the 5300 block of Oxford Avenue in Frankford injured a 23-year-old man, who was shot in his left arm; a 26-year-old man, who was shot once in his right buttocks, and a third man, age unknown, who was shot in his chin and left shoulder. The first two men were listed in stable condition at Jefferson Frankford Hospital. The condition of the third victim, who was taken to the same hospital, was not known Sunday night.
Five shootings occurred Saturday in the city, including a double shooting on the 1200 block of West Lycoming Street in the city’s Hunting Park section that injured one man in the park and another at a nearby bus stop. The first victim, a 41-year-old man, was shot in his upper right side and his upper back while inside Hunting Park. He was taken to Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, where he was placed in critical but stable condition.
A second victim, a 59-year-old man, was shot four times in his right leg while waiting at a nearby bus stop. He remains in critical condition at Temple University Hospital.
Also critically injured in separate shootings were a 22-year-old man who was hit once in his left buttocks by gunfire on the 3000 block of West Lehigh Avenue in Strawberry Mansion at 1:37 a.m. Saturday and another man, whose age police did not provide, who was shot in the stomach on the 2500 block of West Somerset Street in North Philadelphia around 8:12 p.m. Saturday. Both men remain at Temple University Hospital.
Two other men — a 29-year-old who was shot in the thigh at 2:30 a.m. Saturday near North 20th Street and West Allegheny Avenue in the city’s Tioga section, and a 34-year-old man who was shot once in the foot on the 4600 block of Benner Street in Philly’s Wissinoming section at 11:03 p.m. Saturday — remain in stable condition.
Police did not announce an arrest in any of the cases.