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Three people were killed overnight in Philly as shootings continue to spike

The city’s year-to-date homicide tally is 28% above last year’s pace and nearly matches the annual total for 2014, when 248 people were killed.

Philadelphia Police Department crime scene officers in North Philadelphia in 2019.
Philadelphia Police Department crime scene officers in North Philadelphia in 2019.Read moreTom Gralish / Staff Photographer

Three people were fatally shot in Philadelphia on Monday night and Tuesday morning, police said, bringing the city’s homicide total to 230 as shootings continue to surge.

The tally is 28% above last year’s pace, according to police statistics, and almost matches the entire-year total of 2014, when 248 people were killed.

The city has had almost 1,000 shooting victims this year, also a 28% increase over the same date last year, frustrating officials as other violent crimes — including rape, robbery, and aggravated assault not involving guns — have fallen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday night’s violence began at 9:43 p.m., police said, when 21-year-old Semaj Carter was found with a gunshot wound to the back inside a black Mercedes on the 5000 block of Chester Avenue in Kingsessing. Police drove him to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:17, authorities said.

Officers later stopped a dark Buick at 52nd and Pine Streets that was suspected of fleeing the scene, police said. Inside the car, they said, two teenagers — one 17, the other 14 — were found suffering from gunshot wounds.

The 17-year-old was taken to Penn Presbyterian, where he was in critical condition after being shot in the face. The 14-year-old was taken to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and was in stable condition after being shot in the back, police said.

» READ MORE: Even a pandemic can’t slow Philly’s gun violence

About two hours later, at 11:53 p.m., a man police did not identify was found on the 1600 block of Pratt Street in Frankford with a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

And just before 2 a.m. in Mantua, officers heard gunshots on the 3900 block of Haverford Avenue and found a 30-year-old man on the street with a gunshot wound to the chest, police said. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian and pronounced dead at 2:26. Police did not provide his name.

Authorities did not announce arrests in any of the cases.

Other cities across the country have seen similar increases. In Chicago, where gun violence has surged this year, 70 people were shot over the weekend. President Donald Trump reportedly planned to deploy additional federal agents to the city.

Trump on Monday also said he might send additional federal law enforcement officers to Philadelphia and several other cities, though he did not specify what they would do. City officials said they had received no notice of such a deployment and did not welcome it.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and District Attorney Larry Krasner have each announced violence reduction plans in recent weeks, pledging to increase the proportion of cases that end in arrest and successful prosecution, among other goals.

They and other officials have also said violence reduction must include a focus on factors including deep and widespread poverty, neighborhoods lacking quality jobs and educational opportunities, easy access to guns, and increased anxiety over the coronavirus and its impact on the economy.