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Parks and Recreation worker killed by stray bullet in West Philadelphia

Tiffany Fletcher was sweeping outside a recreation center when she was caught in the middle of a gun battle, police said.

Mill Creek Recreational Center.
Mill Creek Recreational Center.Read moreGoogle Street View

A 41-year-old woman was killed by a stray bullet Friday afternoon while working for the city at a recreation center in the Mill Creek section of West Philadelphia, police said.

Just before 1:30 p.m., the woman — identifed late Friday night by the city as Tiffany Fletcher — was sweeping outside the Mill Creek Recreation Center on the 4700 block of Brown Street when a gun battle erupted and she was struck in the stomach, police said.

She was rushed by police to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead Friday evening.

Police Capt. John Walker said a 14-year-old boy — who allegedly was seen dropping a gun near the shooting scene — was in custody as part of the investigation. The gun was recovered by police.

Mayor Jim Kenney and Parks and Recreation Kathryn Ott Lovell issued statements praising Fletcher and decrying the gun violence.

Kenney called Fletcher “a dedicated, passionate, and driven city employee.”

The mayor added: “Words alone cannot express the outrage, hurt, and sadness all of her colleagues feel tonight. I was beyond appalled to learn of this heinous and senseless crime that has completely devastated so many people, especially her family.

”Today, like every day, Tiffany went to work at Millcreek Rec Center to serve the community and people she loved, and serve as a role model for her children. Now, a family is left grief stricken, colleagues are in mourning, and a community is left to cope with this unimaginable loss. I share my deepest condolences with those who knew and loved Tiffany. To all of our city colleagues hurting tonight, please know that supports are available,” Kenney said.

Lovell said recreation centers “should be safe havens in our city. The use of deadly weapons in and around our parks and playgrounds is unconscionable.”

Lovell added: “This afternoon a cherished member of the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation team was caught in crossfire and killed while serving her community at work at the Mill Creek Playground. Our colleague came to work each day dedicated to serving her neighbors and making her family proud. We thank the dedicated Parks & Rec team members, emergency, and medical staff who responded to this incident.”

Later Friday night in the city’s Fairhill section, an unidentified man was fatally wounded in a shooting on the 3100 block of North Front Street. He was transported by private vehicle to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:34 p.m. Police reported no arrests in that case.

Not counting the killings on Friday, there have been 376 homicides in Philadelphia — up from 366 for the same period last year, according to police records as of late Thursday night.

Philadelphia ended last year with a record-breaking 562 homicides.