The victims included two men shot at an Ogontz gas station, a man walking with two children near a West Philadelphia park, and a woman gunned down on her North Philadelphia block.
Gun violence erupted again across the city on Thursday, with six people killed as Philadelphia heads into another summer weekend. And on Friday, hours after the overnight violence, police and communities were still searching for answers and evidence, and bracing for the prospect of another deadly summer weekend.
About 11 p.m., two men were shot to death in the parking lot of a Shell station on Broad Street near Stenton Avenue. Police said a 29-year-old man who was shot multiple times in the head and torso, and a 50-year-old man who was shot once in his left leg, were taken by police to Einstein Medical Center, where they were both pronounced dead before midnight.
Police said weapons were recovered, but did not say from where.
On Friday afternoon, there was no sign that deadly violence had taken place at the gas station. Owner Dennis Jacob said he doesn’t have cameras outside and wasn’t present when the shootings occurred. He said there had never been a killing in the three years he has owned the station, but that crime is commonplace.
”I call the police four or five times a week,” Jacob said. “They usually come late. ... I tell my employees never to go outside, stay inside.”
Earlier, about 8:15 p.m., a 29-year-old man who was coming out of a park with his dog and two children, ages 3 and 9, was fatally shot by a gunman wearing a black mask on the 700 block of North 46th Street in the Mill Creek section of West Philadelphia, police said.
The victim, identified by police Friday as Will Myatt of Southwest Philadelphia, was shot several times in the torso and pronounced dead shortly afterward at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
At Myatt’s home Friday, mourners arrived bringing food to grieving family members, who declined to talk.
Cherri Wilkins, the block captain in the West Philadelphia neighborhood where Myatt was killed, said Friday that she heard nine gunshots and ran to the corner of 46th and Aspen Street, where she found Myatt lying in the middle of the street near Lucien E. Blackwell Park.
“It’s just sad that it happened on this block. It’s really shocking,” Wilkins said, expressing her condolences for Myatt’s family. “You’ll notice that there’s a lot of shooting going on, but you don’t hear about 46th Street killings.”
A resident of Aspen Street, who asked not to be identified out of fear for his safety, said that as a father of four, he found news of the shooting disconcerting. In the 14 years he has lived on the block, he said, there had never been a shooting.
“I’m not surprised, because it’s Philadelphia, but I’m shocked it happened in this quiet neighborhood,” he said, adding that he and his daughter walk their dog every day at the park.
About midnight Thursday, officers responded to a report of a person with a gun on 62nd Street just north of Market, also in West Philadelphia. They found a 26-year-old man on the porch of a house lying in a fetal position and suffering from a gunshot wound to his back, police said. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian, where he was pronounced dead at 12:28 a.m. Friday.
Meanwhile, police said, a second man called from a different area of West Philadelphia to say he had been shot at 62nd and Market, near where the first victim was found. The man, 29, suffered a graze wound to his left leg and was transported by medics to Penn Presbyterian. After he was treated and released, he was transported by police to the Homicide Unit for questioning. No weapon was recovered, and police reported no arrest Friday in the shootings.
There have been 289 homicides in the city so far this year, police said, representing about a 34% increase from the same period last year. The number of killings so far exceeds that in each of the past 30 years, except for 1990, when 304 homicides were recorded in the city in the same period. Most homicides are shootings.
Overall, the number of shooting victims in the city this year has reached 1,255, a 39% increase from last year and a 71% increase from 2015. The number of people shot through Thursday has surpassed total year-end numbers in 2015 and 2017.
On Thursday, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw walked with police officers and residents in North Philadelphia — a neighborhood where two other people were fatally shot that day — as part of a peace rally.
“These are the very folks that we are trying to reach, and our only way to find out the answers to the questions that we have is to go and ask them,” Outlaw told CBS3.
“I couldn’t imagine what it would be like having to live with my head on a swivel everywhere I go. I don’t want that for y’all,” she told residents.
Just before 7:50 p.m. Thursday, a 40-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man were shot on the 1400 block of North Etting Street in North Philadelphia. Both victims were transported by police to Temple University Hospital.
The woman, identified by police Friday as Melanie Raye, who lived on that block, had multiple gunshot wounds in her torso and was pronounced dead shortly afterward.
The man, who was shot in the head, was in critical condition at Temple. Police said two weapons were recovered from this scene.
On the corner of Etting and Master Street, where Raye was killed, someone had placed two stuffed animals, a candle, and an empty bottle of Hennessy. Employees of Sajoma Deli said Friday that the store was closed when the shooting took place and they didn’t know the victim. Passersby likewise said they didn’t know the victim or what sparked the violence.
Earlier, about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, two people were shot on the 1800 block of Judson Street in North Philadelphia. A man, believed to be about 50 years old, was shot 21 times throughout his body and was pronounced dead shortly afterward at Temple. A 65-year-old woman who was shot once in her right leg was in stable condition at Temple.
And about 2:30 a.m. Thursday, an 18-year-old woman was wounded after being shot once in her left thigh after having an argument with two women and a man on the 100 block of South Christopher Columbus Boulevard at Penn’s Landing, police said. She was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in stable condition.
Police reported no arrests in any of the shootings.