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A 19-year-old killed in West Philly double shooting was likely targeted, police say

The shooters are seen in surveillance footage firing directly at the two victims as they are on the ground before running away, police said.

File of crime scene tape.
File of crime scene tape.Read moreAlejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer

A 19-year-old man was killed and another man was injured in a shooting in West Philadelphia on Monday morning that police say may have been targeted.

A Philadelphia police officer on patrol just north of Market Street heard gunshots shortly after 11 a.m. and ran toward the unit block of South 60th Street, Deputy Police Commissioner Frank Vanore said. When the officer arrived, he found two men on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds.

Based on surveillance footage reviewed by police, the two men appeared to have been targeted, said Vanore. As the two victims walked north on South 60th Street toward Market Street, two men — both in grey hooded sweatshirts and black pants, and one wearing a baseball cap — came from behind them on Ludlow Street and begin firing handguns, he said.

The shooters are seen in the video firing directly at the two victims as they are on the ground before running back toward Ludlow Street, said Vanore.

At least 20 shell casings were recovered from the scene, he said.

The victims — whom police did not identify — were taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. The 19-year-old, who was shot in the face and torso, was pronounced dead at the hospital minutes later, at 11:14 a.m., police said. The 21-year-old, who was shot in the torso, remained in critical condition.

The motive for the shooting was unclear, and police have not made any arrests.

Residents and business owners of the unit block of South 60th Street, a business corridor lined with bodegas, cell phone stores, and a halal market, were in shock Monday afternoon, moments after police took down the cordon around the scene of the shooting.

Shoppers and passersby stopped to talk to business owners who leaned in the doorways of their stores, recounting the abrupt violence. One employee of a store on the block was heard complaining that this was not the first time a shooting had occurred in the area, calling on police to break up groups of young men who often congregated on the block.

Lucy Nguyen said she heard gunshots late Monday morning coming from outside City Nail Salon, where she works. In a hurried panic, she and her coworkers rushed to pull down the metal shutters of the business to shield themselves from gunfire.

When the shots subsided, she came outside and saw a young man with gunshot wounds in his head and arm, lying on the sidewalk feet away from the entrance to the salon, she said. Police told her the man had died.

It was the second time in her six years working at the nail salon that she had witnessed a shooting nearby, she said.

As of Monday, there have been 115 homicides in Philadelphia this year, according to data compiled by the police department. The number represents a 38% decrease from the same time period last year, when there were 184 homicides in the city.