32 people shot in 3 days of violence
Ramsey said the weekend stood out as one of the worst he's seen.
It was a weekend of violence and mayhem - brutal even by Philadelphia standards. From Friday through Sunday, 32 people were wounded, six fatally, in about 20 shootings across the city, police said, and a seventh person died in a stabbing.
Police are also investigating four assaults and robberies committed by "roving packs of young people" leaving a North Philadelphia street festival Saturday night, Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said.
Police had not yet determined if the 32 shooting victims represented the worst three-day span of violence in the department's recent history. But Ramsey said the onslaught stood out as one of the worst in his 31/2-year Philadelphia tenure.
"I don't know if we've ever had any more over a three-day period," he said of the shootings during a news conference Monday at Police Headquarters. "This certainly ranks right at the top, if not the top. It shows just how violent it can become on the streets of our city."
"We are lucky we did not have more homicides," Ramsey said, referring to two shootings in which 10 people were injured and in which police recovered more than 20 shell casings.
"Each bullet could be a homicide," Ramsey said.
Police released surveillance footage of one of those shootings Monday, an altercation early Sunday at a Nicetown bar, startling in its randomness.
About 12:45 a.m., a man returned to the Genesis Bar a minute after he was thrown out by a bouncer for smoking. Angry over being tossed, police said, the patron retrieved a handgun from his car.
He opened fire from the doorway, striking six people in six seconds, police said. Among the victims was Carl Sharper, 43, of Germantown, a Water Department employee who happened to be enjoying a few beers with a cousin, according to his family. He was shot once in the head and died at the scene, police said.
The footage shows the shooter, a black man who looks to be in his late 20s or early 30s, arriving alone at the crowded bar about 11:30 p.m. He talked in a Caribbean accent, police said, and had a shaved head and a mustache.
He sat alone at the corner of the bar and drank five or six beers, Homicide Capt. James Clark said. He became unruly and lit a cigarette. A bouncer can be seen grabbing him from behind and pushing him out the door.
The man can be seen jumping up and down in the street and yelling at the bouncer. He returns a minute later and fires through a glass door.
The victims were all patrons, Clark said.
"They were just inside laughing, joking, and just having a good time," he said. "This shooter had a blatant disregard for human life. He could have killed 11 people."
A 33-year-old man was shot twice in the back and a 44-year-old woman was shot twice in the stomach. Both were in critical condition Monday.
Sharper's family gathered Monday on the porch of his parents' home on the 200 block of Queen Lane, the same block where Sharper lived with his fiancée.
The family immigrated to the United States from Guyana when Sharper was 3, said his father, Simon.
Relatives described Carl Sharper as hardworking, respectful, and a loyal friend.
"When I think of his kindness and his beautifulness as a son, it becomes too much," said Simon Sharper, sitting near his wife, Prudence.
Sharper and Drexie Charles were to be married in August. Charles said she had spoken to him by phone not long before the attack. He told her he was having a few beers and then would come home.
"I still am in shock," Charles said. "I keep waiting for someone to tell me it was a mistake - to see him coming walking down the street."
Leon Odom, 45, was going to be the best man at Sharper's wedding. They had been friends since childhood. There was not a confrontational bone in Sharper's body, Odom said.
"He was the most loyal friend," he said.
Police asked for the public's help in reviewing the footage and identifying the shooter. The security cameras caught clear images of his face.
"We have witnesses," Clark said. "We just need a name and we should be able to arrest this individual and bring him to justice."
Police were also searching for five teenagers involved in a Sunday night shooting outside a Strawberry Mansion recreation center. Nyeme Taylor, 30, was killed and three others injured, including a 6-year-old girl who was shot twice in the face. She was in critical condition Monday.
"It was a savage thing to do," Ramsey said of the shooting.
Also killed in four shootings, spread out over the weekend and the city, were Edwin Smith, 21; Edward Scarborough, 23; Duane Isaacs, 48; and Raymond Butts, 22. A 19-year-old man has been arrested in Smith's death.
Rodney Seabrook, 58, died after being stabbed in the chest Friday morning in West Philadelphia, police said.
Police are also investigating beatings and robberies committed by teens leaving the Susquehanna Community Festival. About 9:30 p.m. Saturday, about 200 teenagers streamed down Broad Street in packs, said Capt. Sharon Seaborough of Central Detectives.
At Broad and Green Street, a group of male teens swarmed two woman, punching and kicking them. One of the women, Emily Guendelsberger, 27, a writer and editor at the satirical newspaper the Onion, was hospitalized with a leg injury, police said. Police said they believe that shortly before that attack, the teens beat a 20-year-old man at Broad and Fairmount Avenue. No arrests have been made in those attacks.
Around the same time, police said, other teens who had left the festival committed two robberies near Broad and Walnut Street.
Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel said the attacks, which were apparently not coordinated, did not fit the profile of a "flash mob."
Ramsey called on parents to better monitor their children attending concerts and festivals.
"We need parents to step up and really pay attention to where their kids are going and what they're doing," he said.
As for the shootings, Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross said the department would continue to target hot-spot neighborhoods.
Ramsey said police would work to prevent retaliatory acts stemming from the weekend's violence. He called on community members to assist police.
"There are people out there who know exactly who are responsible for these crimes," Ramsey said. "They need to speak up."
To see the security footage from the Genesis bar, go to http://go.philly.com/nicetownEndText