A 23-year-old woman who recently had given birth was killed today when two gunmen opened fire on a crowd, striking the mother in the head and wounding two others in the city's Kingsessing neighborhood, police said.
Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said the triple shooting "was a real Hatfields and McCoys situation."
"Two families were allegedly fueding over a trial going on," Ramsey said after leaving the scene.
The woman, identifed by police and family as Nyesha Whitney was shot as she and others sitting on a porch in the 1300 block of South 53d Street tried to run into their three-story house as the gunfire erupted about 3:45 p.m., police said.
"It's pretty much just random shots into a crowd," said Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives.
Two children, 11 and 14, were inside the house when the shootings occurred, police said.
A 71-year-old man, identified as Whitney's uncle, was shot in the hip, and a 19-year-old friend was shot in the hand, police said.
Whitney was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was pronounced dead at 4:15 p.m., police said. The two men were reported in stable condition at the hospital.
Walker said that 15 or 16 shots from 9mm and .380 caliber pistols were fired from the front of a house two doors down.
The gunmen fled north on 53d Street, he said. Both were dressed in tan shorts, with one wearing a black T-shirt and other wearing a white T-shirt.
A large amount of blood was visible at the bottom of the front doorway. A burgundy Chevrolet Lumina about a half block away had its back window shot out. Police towed the vehicle for evidence.
There was a bullet hole in the front first-story window, but family members told police that had been made last year.
Neighbors said Whitney had given birth to her son about a month ago.
A 55-year-old neighbor said she regularly saw the mother, whom she described as friendly, bouncing the baby out on the porch after she had returned from the hospital.
"I'm really disgusted," the neighbor said of the violence and city's inability to curb it.