Six people were shot and wounded, one fatally, during a graduation party in Southwest Philadelphia Sunday night, police said, capping a brutal Father’s Day weekend of violence marked by a spate of shootings across the city.
The graduation party shooting occurred around 10 p.m. on Reed Bird Place at the Paschall Playground, police said.
Police said about 60 people were attending the party in an isolated area at the end of the road when gunfire erupted.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Monday the gunman emerged from a group of three men hanging out in a parking lot and opened fire, striking six people.
Investigators recovered six shell casings at the scene.
Police on Sunday night initially reported eight people had been hit, but said Monday the actual number was six. Two victims from an another shooting who also were taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital along with three of those wounded at the party were mistakenly included in the playground shooting total, investigators said.
Isiaka Meite, 24, of the 6700 block of Doral Street, who had been shot in the back, died at Penn Presbyterian after police took him there in a radio patrol car, police said.
The other victims were reported in stable condition at Penn Presbyterian, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The included a 24 year old man who suffered gunshot wound to the right elbow, a 16-year-old girl who had been shot in the leg, two 16-year-old boys who also each had been shot in the leg and a 15-year-old boy who had been shot in the left foot.
Ross said whoever was behind the shooting knew there would be a party and the intended target would likely be there.
“That is deeply disturbing to us that someone would resort to that, irrespective of what it was about,” Ross said.
Initial investigations do not reveal that a fight preceded the shooting and there were no other indications of problems at the party, Ross said.
The shooting was one of 19 in the city over the weekend. The others left four dead and 18 wounded.
Ross said the department is “putting out additional people” and “ramping up patrols” but added that police need the public’s help in solving — and curbing — gun violence. He said that the department will cull all available information to see if any of the weekend’s cases could lead to a retaliatory shooting.
“We need people’s help,” he said.