The neighborhood outside of the JM Mini Market was alive with the normal sights and sounds of a sticky summer evening. Customers trickled into the corner store at 16th and Clearfield Streets while a handful of people lingered under its pink-and-white awning, shooting the breeze about this and that.
In an instant, everything changed. A loud burst of gunfire — the city’s perpetual, unofficial soundtrack — erupted across the street from the shop just before 5:30 p.m. Friday, sending the sidewalk dwellers into a panic. One woman clutched the hands of two children as she turned and darted in the opposite direction, while a man sprinted away from the scene.
A gunman’s bullets found two targets: a 37-year-old man, who was soon pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital, and Jewell Williams Jr., the 40-year-old son of Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams.
Williams Jr. was wounded multiple times, and admitted to Temple in critical condition.
“Sheriff Williams is obviously very upset and concerned for his son, and says this is just the latest tragic example of the gun violence epidemic in our city,” said Dan Gross, a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson.
Jose Torres, 38, has worked at the JM Mini Mart for 18 years. He stood behind the small counter on Saturday, watching footage from the store’s surveillance camera that showed the incident as it unfolded, his neighbors’ calm conversations giving way to horror. (The shooting itself was obstructed by an industrial garbage container.)
“There was a lot of kids outside,” Torres said, shaking his head.
One resident on 16th Street said he heard the gunfire but didn’t witness anything; dried blood was streaked across the pavement near his house.
No arrests have been made in the double shooting, and the name of the man who died has not yet been released. It was one of four shootings that left four people wounded and one dead between late Friday and early Saturday, according to police.
About 10 p.m. Friday, a 60-year-old man was shot in the left ankle on Stella Street near Emerald Street in Kensington, police said. He was listed in stable condition at Episcopal Hospital.
At 10:25 p.m., an 18-year-old male was shot in the pelvis on Baltimore Avenue near 56th Street in Southwest Philadelphia, and admitted to Mercy Catholic Medical Center in stable condition.
Shortly after midnight, police said, a 38-year-old man was shot multiple times while he sat in a car at Hansberry and Marion Streets in Germantown. He was admitted to Temple Hospital in critical condition.
No arrests were made in any of the shootings.