Three teenagers were among five people shot just before midnight Saturday in North Philadelphia when an outdoor gathering of more than 200 mostly young people turned chaotic as “several” men began shooting at police, authorities said.
And for the second consecutive weekend in the city, shooting victim totals reached the mid-20s, according to police reports.
“It’s disturbing, it’s disheartening,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said of the weekend’s continuation of a violent trend, which included six more shootings involving two deaths in the 4½ hours after she spoke to reporters shortly before 2 a.m. at the North Philly scene at North 10th and Brown Streets.
According to Outlaw, police were already in the area about 11:30 p.m. Saturday in anticipation of another event nearby. They saw what appeared to be a muzzle flash and heard a “boom,” and then almost simultaneously, heard gunshots from a different type of weapon, she said.
No officers were injured or had fired their weapons, police said later Sunday afternoon. That update said officers had responded to a 911 call about a person with a gun on the 700 block of North 10th Street, arriving to find a crowd of more than 200 people. Then, “several males began shooting at the police,” the report said.
Officers went toward the shots and found some of the victims, Outlaw said, without specifying exactly where. None had life-threatening injuries, she said.
According to additional information police provided Sunday afternoon, investigators found 28 AR-15 rounds and 10 40-caliber rounds at the scene, reflecting what Outlaw had said was the use of multiple types of weapons. A magazine was recovered from one of the shooting victims, police said.
“Right now, we’re trying to piece it all together,” Outlaw said of what prompted the gunfire.
Shortly after midnight, police cars and crime scene tape blocked access to the intersection. Some officers stood in the middle while others searched 10th Street with flashlights.
Onlookers — adults and teenagers — watched from outside homes in the section of the city known as Poplar, which sits between Spring Garden and Northern Liberties. All declined comment.
Cups, cans, and bags littering the street indicated a party might have been going on before the shooting started.
According to police, an 18-year-old male was shot once in the left ankle, and a 21-year-old man was shot twice in the right side. Both were listed in stable condition Sunday afternoon at Temple University Hospital. A 26-year-old man was shot once in the left calf, a 16-year-old male was shot once in the right shoulder, and a 19-year-old female was shot once in the left leg. All were listed in stable condition at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
The weekend got off to a deadly start just before 9:30 p.m. Friday with the killing of a 17-year-old male who was shot once in the chest on the 2200 block of West Harold Street in North Philadelphia. Police reported nine other shootings with 10 victims between then and just after 6 a.m. Saturday. One of the injured was an 18-year-old shot nine times on the 3100 block of G Street in Kensington. He was in critical condition at Temple.
There was another deadly shooting at 9:22 p.m. Saturday, when a man believed to be 20 was shot in the head on the 2100 block of Webster Street in Southwest Center City, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
As police scoured the neighborhood at 10th and Brown Streets for evidence, gunfire continued throughout the city, claiming two lives and injuring at least four other people by 6:30 a.m. Sunday. According to police, those shootings were in Overbrook, Parkside, North Philly, Holmesburg, and Kingsessing. One of the victims, a male whose age was unknown, was shot 10 times at 3:26 a.m. on the 5000 block of Merion Station in Parkside. He died at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center at 3:40 a.m., police said.
About 12 hours later, another shooting was reported, at 55th and Vine Streets in West Philadelphia, where a man in his 30s was shot twice in the back and once in the left arm by people in a burgundy-colored sedan. He was pronounced dead at 5:12 p.m. at Penn Presbyterian, becoming the sixth shooting death of the weekend, according to police reports.
Shortly after 8 p.m., three more people — a 19-year-old and two 20-year-olds, all males — were shot in Point Breeze, on the 2700 block of Winton Terrace, police said. All were listed in stable condition at Penn Presbyterian.
No arrests were reported in any of the weekend’s shootings.
Given the number of people who were out at 10th and Brown Streets, “we do believe someone knows who the shooters were,” Outlaw said, adding that police are trying to resolve this quickly “so we can hopefully get ahead of anything that could occur as a result of this.”
At least 25 people were shot last weekend, including two 11-year-olds, and six people at a playground near the Philadelphia Zoo. That brought to more than 1,130 the total number of people shot in the city this year — a 36% increase over the same span last year and an annual pace higher than any since at least 2007, The Inquirer reported. Homicides were up 31% at 259 people.
City Council last week held a two-day virtual emergency hearing to address the gun violence, where frustration over lack of progress was expressed.