500th homicide: Woman, 55, fatally shot in South Philly
It was the city's 500th homicide so far in 2021, matching the worst year on record.
A 55-year-old woman was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon in South Philadelphia, police said.
Her death was the 500th homicide in the city so far this year, matching the worst year on record — 1990 — and surpassing the total of 499 that occurred in 2020.
Around 4:30 p.m., the woman was outside in the area of Seventh and Jackson Streets when she was shot three times in the chest. She was transported by medics to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:15 p.m.
No arrests or other details were reported.
Late Wednesday night, City Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson wrote on Twitter that her grandmother knew the victim.
“My grandmom just called me upset, the 500th homicide victim was her neighbor, on the block where she’s been a block captain for 35+ years in South Philly. My heart is broken for the family & for all the families impacted by senseless gun violence in PHL,” Richardson said.
Earlier in the evening, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw issued a statement on reaching the “tragic milestone” of 500 homicides:
“Each and every homicide carries with it a profound sense of loss. However, for our City to have reached such a tragic milestone — 500 lives cut short — it carries a weight that is almost impossible to truly comprehend.”
Outlaw continued: “There are not enough words to comfort our grieving families in their time of loss. However, I want these families to know that seeking justice for their loved one remains a top priority for the Philadelphia Police Department. We will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners and other stakeholders to get ahead of the violent crime that is plaguing our beautiful communities.”
She added: “We remain committed to proactively patrolling neighborhoods and encourage community members to continue to work alongside the police. We cannot undo what has already been done, however, we will continue to pursue any and all information that will bring justice and closure to each victim and their families. I urge anyone with information to come forward and share that information with the police. The lives lost are not unique to one neighborhood or section of this city — it is time that everyone joins together to become the catalyst for change in our communities.”
Earlier in the day, Mayor Jim Kenney addressed the unrelenting rise in deadly violence and said the city is doing what it can to slow the bloodshed but is stymied by state law that keeps the city from enforcing stricter gun laws.