Philadelphia police on Friday released two pictures of a man they believe fatally shot another man on a West Philadelphia street Thursday before speeding from the scene on a dirt bike.
The killing was one of three in the city Thursday, a day during which eight others were shot and wounded in street violence, according to Philadelphia police, continuing a bloody year on pace to break records.
The West Philadelphia slaying was potentially sparked by road rage, and it helped to push the city’s homicide total to record-pacing heights. Already this year, 255 people have been slain, police statistics show — a 36% increase over last year’s pace, and a higher number of victims than in all of 2014.
In the potential road-rage outburst, a man on a dirt bike fatally shot a 37-year-old man just after 6:30 p.m. near 52nd Street and Girard Avenue in West Philadelphia, police said.
The two pictures police released of the suspect show him sitting atop a green dirt bike. Police described him as a Black with a thin build wearing a blue and white Troy Lee Designs GP Yamaha Jersey long sleeve shirt with graphic patches on the sleeves, blue jeans, white sneakers, and a black full-face mask.
Anyone with information on the suspect’s identity or whereabouts is asked to contact the Philadelphia Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334 or leave an anonymous tip at 686-TIPS.
Authorities still have not released the victim’s name. Police told Fox29 that several motorcycles may have been involved in a confrontation with the driver before a man on one of the bikes turned his attention toward the motorist and fired six shots.
It marked the second time in as many weeks that a victim was gunned down on a city street by a rider on a dirt bike. On Saturday night in Port Richmond, police said, a man on a dirt bike fatally shot Angel Rodriguez, 21, after hundreds of people had gathered to watch illegal street racing.
City officials, police, and community leaders are bracing for a violent summer, even as the pandemic wanes. In City Hall, lawmakers used budget negotiations with Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration to push for more funding for violence prevention programs outside of policing.
Elsewhere Thursday night, a 29-year-old man was shot once in the left side of the chest around 8:43 p.m. on the 300 block of South 53rd Street in West Philadelphia, police said. The gunman is believed to have fled the scene in a white Nissan. Medics took the victim to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he died at 9:05, police said.
About an hour after that incident, police said, a 25-year-old man was fatally shot and a 24-year-old woman was wounded in a shooting on the 4800 block of North Franklin Street in Olney. Police did not identify either victim or provide details about a motive or suspect.
The man was shot once in the chest and pronounced dead at Einstein Medical Center, police said. The woman was hospitalized in stable condition after being shot once in the left heel.
Police were also investigating several nonfatal shootings that took place Thursday.
At 8:51 p.m., a man and woman were shot on the 5200 block of Pentridge Street in Cedar Park. The man, who is 19, was shot multiple times in the chest, and the woman, who is 18, was shot four times in the left hip and leg area, police said.
Both went to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in private vehicles, but the woman was later transported by medics to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. The man was listed in critical condition and the woman was in stable condition, police said.
At 8:36 p.m., a man was shot three times in the face and twice in the right foot on the 2600 block of West Berks Street in North Philadelphia, police said. The victim was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he was in critical condition. Police said they recovered a weapon and made an arrest.
Also Thursday night, a man in this twenties was shot one time in the abdomen while he was on the front porch of a home on the 100 block of 61st Street in West Philadelphia. He was taken to Lankenau Medical Center by private vehicle and listed in stable condition.
At 1:45 a.m., a 32-year-old man was shot in the abdomen in the 4600 block of North Front Street, Feltonville. He was transported by medics to Temple University Hospital and was listed in stable condition.
At 12:49 a.m., a 25-year-old man was shot in the head and abdomen on the 4600 block of Springfield Avenue in West Philadelphia, police said. He took himself to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and was listed in stable condition.
Minutes earlier, at 12:30 a.m., police responded to Lankenau Medical Center for a shooting victim. A 44-year-old man was being treated there for a gunshot wound to the left hip, which occurred on the 5400 block of Lebanon Avenue, police said. He was in stable condition.