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Two gunmen followed three women Wednesday, before ambushing them in Strawberry Mansion, police said

Chaundrah Jones, 24, a mother of two, was fatally shot Wednesday, during an incident that resulted in two other women being shot and injured.

Chaundrah Jones, 24, was fatally shot Wednesday, in the Strawberry Mansion section of the city. Two women who were with her were also shot and injured. Police are looking for two gunmen.
Chaundrah Jones, 24, was fatally shot Wednesday, in the Strawberry Mansion section of the city. Two women who were with her were also shot and injured. Police are looking for two gunmen.Read moreHandout

Three women who had just left a North Philadelphia lounge early Wednesday morning were ambushed blocks away by two gunmen who killed one of the victims and critically injured the others, Philadelphia police said Thursday.

One of the shooters wielded an AK-47 assault rifle “as long as his leg,” said Philadelphia Homicide Capt. Jason Smith. He said the woman who was killed was not the intended target.

Chaundrah Jones, 24, a mother of two from Clifton Heights, Delaware County, was shot in the back and left wrist. She died shortly after being rushed to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. The two other victims, a 26-year-old woman shot in the back and left wrist, and a 32-year-old woman shot in both legs and pelvis, were in critical condition.

Smith said the women were among the last patrons to leave the lounge in the 2600 block of West Sergeant Street shortly after 2 a.m. He said they left in three cars, and pulled over and parked several blocks away in the 2000 block of 33rd Street for unknown reasons.

The gunmen opened fired with the assault rifle and a 9mm handgun after the 32-year-old woman got out of her Acura and got into Jones’ Volkswagen Atlas, while the 26-year-old woman was standing next to her Toyota Corolla, Smith said. After being shot, the 26-year-old woman got back into her Toyota and drove several blocks, where police found her bleeding from her injuries, he said.

While Smith would not discuss the gunmen’s possible motive, he said investigators believe the woman who got into Jones’ car was their intended target.

The Facebook page of Jones’ godmother, Tiffany N. Samuels, contains an announcement that a Janazah prayer service will be held for her at 10:30 Saturday morning at the Jason Lloyd Funeral Home Inc., at 6643 Torresdale Ave., with burial to follow at Chelten Hills Cemetery.

“God … I know you won’t give me anymore than I can handle but I don’t know how I’m gonna handle this … seeing you lay there completely broke my heart,” Samuels said in another Facebook post. “NO I AM NOT OK. The only grace is that I know your in the arms of your mom.”

The slaying is part of a troubling trend of females falling victim to deadly gun violence at an increasing rate, Smith noted. So far this year, 51 women and girls have been killed, up from 24 at the same time last year, which is a 113% increase, he said. The rate of increase in domestic violence slayings of women stands at 18 victims compared with five at this time last year, more than a 260% increase, he said.

The city’s escalating violence rate — which has claimed 408 lives through Wednesday — is being driven by narcotic sales and gangs, both of which women are increasingly becoming entangled in, Smith said.

He noted the Sept. 22 slaying of Nikeyia Collins, 30, who police say was shot in her car in the 3700 block of Aspen Street while selling marijuana. Collins, in turn, shot one of the gunmen, Kymir McDonald, 18, who is still hospitalized and police have issued a warrant for his arrest on murder charges, Smith said.

“It’s another senseless tragedy,” he said.

The city’s 409th slaying was reported just after midnight Thursday in the 1900 block of West Hunting Park Avenue, where police found two men suffering from gunshot wounds in the street. A 34-year-old man shot multiple times in the body and head was transported by medics to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:36 a.m., police said.

A 38-year-old man who was shot in the wrist was transported to Temple, where he was last listed in stable condition. No arrest has been made.