Five people were shot during a one-hour stretch of violence Friday night in West and Southwest Philadelphia, according to police, including a 12-year-old girl and a 29-year-old man who died from his injuries.
Inspector Derrick Wood, commanding officer of the city’s Southwest Police Division, said the incidents occurred between 9:05 and 10:02 p.m.
Wood said in an interview that none of the shootings seemed connected but that investigations into each were in the early stages. The 12-year-old girl was struck in the ankle when a gunman opened fire on a block party on the 1300 block of Wanamaker Street, he said. She was reported to be in stable condition.
In addition to those incidents, police said four people were stabbed across the city between Friday night and Saturday morning, including a 65-year-old man wounded during a double stabbing on the 1500 block of Tasker Street in Point Breeze just before 2 a.m.
Two other people in North Philadelphia were shot early Saturday, police said: a 23-year-old woman on the 1800 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue and a 33-year-old man on the 2500 block of North Ninth Street.
Police did not identify any of the victims.
The burst of violence occurred during a week in which the city recorded a host of shootings with multiple victims.
On Tuesday night, seven people were shot, one fatally, when someone fired more than 50 rounds at a group gathered outside an apartment complex. And early Friday morning, around 1 a.m., six people were shot while standing on the corner of the 4100 block of North Broad Street. That incident occurred within hours of two separate double shootings elsewhere in the city.
Shootings and homicides have continued to surge in Philadelphia, even after Mayor Jim Kenney issued a months-long stay-at-home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Through Friday, according to the Police Department, 178 people had been killed in homicides this year — a 23% increase over last year’s pace, and the highest year-to-date tally since 2007.
And 610 people had been shot through May 29, according to the city’s most recently published data, an average of more than four victims per day and a pace that would put the city on track to record nearly 1,500 shooting victims this year.
Wood said he was concerned that gun violence was becoming “normalized" and that the number of victims was growing before the warmer summer months, when violence has historically spiked.
Wood’s nephew, 22-year-old Tyshawn Woods, was shot dead in Hunting Park on Monday, an incident that caused the inspector to speak out about the ongoing shootings in hopes of raising community awareness.
Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said during a City Council budget hearing this week that she believed some of the increased violence was related to disputes between drug dealers. Investigators have historically cited drugs and arguments as the two most common homicide motives.
Outlaw told Council the department was planning to adjust and expand what it calls “pinpoint zones," areas in police districts that cops consider high-risk for crime and focus their resources.
She also told Council that she wants to improve the department’s “clearance rate" — the percentage of cases considered “cleared” by arrest — for both homicides and non-fatal shootings. For homicides, the goal is to achieve a 65% clearance rate by the end of next year, Outlaw said, slightly above the national average. For non-fatal shootings, Outlaw wants the clearance rate to reach 30%, about 5% to 10% higher than the department has recorded in recent years.