At least 24 people were shot, five fatally, during a brutal 24-hour stretch in Philadelphia on Thursday and Friday, according to police, a grim continuation of the city’s sustained surge in gunfire.
The shootings happened in neighborhoods across the city and at all hours of the day, police said, with bullets striking people who ranged in age from 18 to 65.
In a single hour Thursday — between 2 and 3 p.m. — police said at least nine people were shot in five separate incidents. Two of them died, police said, including a 34-year-old man who shot a 25-year-old woman in the leg in Mayfair, then fatally shot himself.
Several more shootings were reported Friday night.
Mayor Jim Kenney on Twitter said the spate of shootings was “devastating” and “makes me not just heartbroken, but angry.” Commissioner Danielle Outlaw added that the “violence and trauma of these incidents extend beyond those directly affected and permeate into the very fabric of our communities.”,
Carmen Guzman, who lives on the block, wasn’t home when shots rang out, but said Friday that her daughter had called to tell her about loud noises outside. On the call, Guzman said, she could hear another loud noise in the background, and she pulled up video from her Ring camera afterward — which Guzman said appeared to show first responders carrying a man’s body from the scene.
Through Thursday, police said, 132 people had been slain in homicides, the vast majority in shootings. That’s a slight decrease from last year’s record-setting pace, but well above the year-to-date tally for much of the city’s recent history.
Nonfatal shootings have also remained high: Police statistics show at least 460 people have been wounded by gunfire this year, a 3% increase compared to the pace of last year, which also set the modern-day record for the number of people shot annually.
Almost 500 people dead: Philadelphia is about to set a grim record for homicides
The shootings spike Thursday and Friday marks one of the most violent days in recent memory. Twenty-one people were shot Thursday alone, four of whom died. In July 2020 — when the city’s gun violence began escalating to new heights — 23 people were shot in a single day, at that point the highest-single day tally in at least seven years.
Thursday’s violence began before dawn, when police said a 42-year-old man was shot in the thigh at 5:34 a.m. in Kensington. He was hospitalized in stable condition.
Five hours later, around 10:41 a.m., a 33-year-old man was shot inside a store in Frankford, police said, and a 37-year-old woman was shot twice in Kensington at 1:46 p.m.
Just after 2 p.m., police said, six people were shot in the span of several minutes:
Three men — ages 21, 18, and 24 — were shot on the 4000 block of Wallace Street in Mantua; a young man was killed in the shooting on South Philadelphia’s Manton Street; and two men — ages 28 and 65 — were shot in Strawberry Mansion. The older man in that incident was struck four times and hospitalized in critical condition, police said.
Capt. John Walker, commanding officer of the unit that investigates nonfatal shootings, said police believe the triple shooting in Mantua was drug-related, with the three victims sitting in a car when they were shot in a drive-by.
Investigators were still seeking a possible motive in the double shooting in Strawberry Mansion, Walker said. It happened in an area where people often congregate outside, he said, and police found 39 fired cartridge casings at the scene. Authorities believe two groups of people, with an untold number of gunmen, were firing at each other.
After those incidents, police said three more people were killed as shootings continued Thursday night into Friday.
Around 10:10 p.m., police said two men — one age 32, the other whose age they did not know — were fatally shot on the 2100 block of South 67th Street.
And at 4:42 a.m. Friday, police said, a 30-year-old man was fatally shot on the unit block of South Redfield Street in West Philadelphia.
In between those two homicides, police said, another six people were shot in six incidents across the city.
Police did not identify any of the victims who were killed.
On Redfield Street Friday afternoon, a small group of people gathered near the place where the man had been killed, but declined to speak with a reporter.
Police had left fliers on most cars parked along the short block, asking residents to send in tips or information that might help identify a shooter.
Meanwhile, two women in the group of mourners embraced each other, with one woman crying in the other’s arms.
More shootings occurred Friday evening. Around 6:45 p.m. in Southwest Philadelphia, police said a 24-year-old man was shot several times outside on the 2200 block of Shields Street. Police took the victim to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. No arrests were reported.
Just before 8:10 p.m. in West Oak Lane, an 18-year-old man was outside on the 2000 block of Chelten Avenue when he was shot in the left thigh, police said. He was taken by private vehicle to a hospital and was listed in stable condition. No arrests were reported.
Staff writer Robert Moran contributed to this report.
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