The unrelenting surge of violence in Philadelphia continued over the weekend, leaving 30 victims shot or stabbed — two of them fatally — and some community advocates anxious about what the summer months may bring.
The violence, including a quadruple shooting and three double shootings, was concentrated in North and West Philadelphia and touched Kensington and Frankford. Victims were injured on the street, at bars, and inside homes and stores.
As of Monday afternoon, police had not made an arrest in any of the shootings that took place between Friday and early Monday morning.
Among the 21 shooting victims was Darryl Cromwell, 57, of the 2700 block of Germantown Avenue, who police said was shot inside a North Philadelphia home early morning Saturday. He was transported to Temple University Hospital and died six hours later.
And on Saturday night just after 10 p.m., police said, Charles Campbell, 31, of the 3000 block of North 10th Street, died of a gunshot wound on the 7400 block of Fayette Street in East Mount Airy.
The weekend pushed the city’s homicide rate to about 40% higher than it was last year at this time. Year to date, 196 people have been killed, according to police data, putting the city on track to log more killings than in 1990, the deadliest year on record, when there were 500 homicides. Last year, 499 were slain.
Shootings spiked in cities across the country in 2020 amid the pandemic, and some experts have suggested that poor economic conditions and social disruption drove higher rates of violence. Philadelphia has seen a particularly acute uptick, recording the highest rates of both murder and nonfatal shootings between January and April among cities with more than one million residents, according to data compiled by researchers at Princeton University.
Some of that can be attributed to an increase in shootings of multiple victims, which are up sharply this year. Four people ranging in age from 17 to 37 were shot inside a convenience store at 56th and Market Streets on Friday night about 9:30 p.m.
The spate of violence is traumatizing the city’s children and teenagers, some of whom are staying away from public spaces where shootings have occurred or are grieving someone lost to gun violence, said Rickey Duncan, executive director of NoMo, a North Philadelphia-based nonprofit that hosts job training and after-school programs for young people.
Many of those young people have become desensitized to violence because it is so pervasive, particularly over the last year, said Kyle McLemore, who runs NoMo’s mentoring program. He said through trauma-informed care, he tries to get the message across to young people that “this is not normal.”
At the same time, he’s worried about the gun violence that the summer months may bring as the weather warms and more pandemic-related restrictions lift. Last weekend, gun violence in Philadelphia claimed the lives of seven people and injured another 18, making it one of the deadliest weekends in recent memory, police officials said.
“You have two bad weekends right in a row. You see the escalation now,” McLemore said. “Couple that with everything opening up? I’m really worried.”