PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two more people were wounded, one critically, in the same section of Philadelphia on Monday where six people ranging in age from 14 to 27 were wounded the evening before by gunfire during another violent weekend in the city.
Police said the latest shots reported shortly after 1030 a.m. hit a 21-year-old man in the face, the back of the head and a leg, sending him to a hospital in critical condition. A 23-year-old man hit in the back was in stable condition.
Gunfire elsewhere in north Philadelphia in what was believed to be a drive-by shooting Sunday evening wounded six people ranging in ages from 14 to 27. At least five were reported in stable condition; the injuries of the sixth weren’t immediately available.
No arrests were reported in either case.
Just after 3 a.m. Saturday, four blocks away, a 22-year-old man had been killed and three other people wounded, one critically. More gunfire in north Philadelphia at 1 p.m. Saturday killed a 20-year-old man, while other shootings around the city over the weekend sent more people, including a 17-year-old, to hospitals.
James Hines told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he rushed his wounded son and nephew to Temple University Hospital after Sunday evening’s gunfire, only later noticing two other wounded men in the vehicle. When his son awoke in the hospital, he said the group had been standing on the corner listening to music when shots came from a dark-colored Jeep, Hines said.
“I want to move when the time comes and never look back, and it’s a shame,” Hines, 37, said. “I used to have tunnel vision, but after what I saw yesterday I can’t ignore it anymore.”
Violence in Philadelphia this year has brought calls for action from lawmakers who represent the city.
Philadelphia police report 266 homicide victims in 2019, a 2 percent increase over last year’s tally at this time. The 353 homicides recorded last year marked the highest total since 2007, when police reported 391 homicides. In June, someone sprayed gunfire into a high school graduation party at a public park, killing one young man and wounding five others, while in August a man barricaded in a home wounded six Philadelphia police officers.
The state’s attorney general, Democrat Josh Shapiro, has asked lawmakers to expand the office’s authority and give it statewide jurisdiction to prosecute illegal gun possession, sales and transfers in an effort to shut down gun-trafficking networks. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has urged passage of laws to broaden background checks, require Pennsylvania gun owners to report stolen or lost firearms and empower relatives or police to seek the immediate, if temporary, seizure of someone’s firearms.
None of the proposals have so far gained traction in Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature, which is historically protective of gun rights. Instead, the House Judiciary Committee advanced legislation to more swiftly take away guns from someone who was involuntarily committed for mental health treatment, changing the period from 60 days to 48 hours. But another bill that passed the committee — to make it harder and more expensive for municipalities to defend their firearms ordinances against lawsuits — swiftly drew a veto threat from Wolf.