Philadelphia’s gun violence epidemic reached alarming heights Sunday, as 23 people were shot across the city — the most in a single day since at least 2013. Six of the victims died, including a 6-year-old boy who police believe was mistakenly shot by a 5-year-old boy inside an Upper Holmesburg rowhouse.

The violent surge capped a July 4th holiday weekend in which 35 people were shot between Friday morning and Sunday night, according to police. The victims included an 11-year-old girl grazed by a bullet in Elmwood, a 52-year-old man shot in the foot while riding a bike in North Philadelphia, and a 15-year-old boy who died after being shot in the head during a triple shooting in Overbrook.

Police said most of the cases had not yet resulted in arrests. On the block where the 6-year-old was killed, neighbors said they were shocked to learn a child died inside with other kids nearby.

So far this year, at least 888 people have been shot in the city, according to an Inquirer analysis of city and police data — an average of 4.7 people per day. The number of shooting victims has been steadily increasing since 2014, when 1,047 people were shot.

If this year’s pace holds, the city will reach that number by early August — and will finish the year with more than 1,700 victims, the highest total since at least 2007.


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