Damon Hunter stood outside his grandmother's house in West Oak Lane on Saturday night, and lowered his head as he pointed at crimson splotches that peppered the front steps. He looked away quickly, the way a person does when glancing at the sun.
"That's his blood," he said. "There's a trail of it, coming from all the way around the corner. You can still follow it."
The blood had spilled from his brother, Derek Hill, 20, earlier in the day, when Hill was attacked by a man and three women who were armed with hammers and knives. Police were called to the scene, on Limekiln Pike near 67th Avenue, shortly before 10:30 a.m., and found Hill on the second floor of the house. One of the women had stabbed him with a butcher knife.
The officers rushed Hill to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he died at 11:39 a.m.
Hill's death was one of three slayings that the Police Department reported Saturday, pushing the city's homicide total to nearly 300, a 5 percent increase from this same point last year.
Hunter, 22, said his brother lived in the corner property, and took care of their grandmother and great-grandmother. Both women were at home, along with a health-care worker, when the group of attackers arrived at the house, looking for Hill.
Police haven't made any arrests or offered a motive. Hunter said he didn't know why the group had sought out his brother, other than they'd had some sort of a beef with him. "Nine times out of 10," he said, "it's over a girl."
Hill had attended nearby Martin Luther King High School and ran track. He loved video games, his brother said, and had an easygoing sense of humor. "You could be having the worst day of your life, I promise you, but if you ran into him, he'd make you smile," Hunter said.
The two brothers were last together Friday night. They discussed a clothing line they started — with the slogan "UCantStandIt" — that they've been trying to get off the ground through Instagram posts, and kicked around their shared dream of leaving Philadelphia and moving to California.
"This city, there's trouble everywhere," Hunter said. "I can't get my brother back. I will never get to see him in the physical form again."
Hunter said his brother has a 1-year-old son, and recently learned he was going to be a father again.
"I shouldn't be burying my little brother," he said. "I'm supposed to grow old with this person. And now I can't see him again."
Hours before Hill was attacked, police were busy responding to reports of gunfire in other parts of the city. A 20-year-old man was shot multiple times while he sat in a car on the 3900 block of Howland Street in Juniata Park. The man, whose name hasn't been released, was pronounced dead at 7:23 a.m. at Temple University.
And about 2:30 a.m., off-duty police officers heard gunshots ring out at 26th Street and Passyunk Avenue. They ran to the scene, and found a car riddled with bullet holes.
A 28-year-old man who had been wounded numerous times died, while a 31-year-old man and a 25-year-old man, each wounded in the shoulder, survived.
In September, Mayor Kenney tasked his cabinet with coming up with a new plan in 100 days for combating the city's violent crime, which he labeled a public health crisis.
The city, which has an Office of Violence Prevention, has also pledged to evaluate the effectiveness of the estimated $48 million in federal, state, and local funds that are spent annually across 10 city departments on community-based programs to prevent gun violence.