NBCPhiladelphia.com- Nefertiti Jaquez
Police hunt for a gunman who's using a high-powered weapon on the streets of Philadelphia. Investigators say he's a killer. NBC10's Nefertiti Jaquez has details from police headquarters.
Philadelphia police want to warn the public about "a dangerous high-powered weapon" linked to the shootings of four different people in two separate incidents.
The shootings happened in one week, all in the same neighborhood, and all with an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle.
"It's extremely concerning to us and that's why it's a great urgency to us to get this person off the streets," said Capt. James Clark. "If you have someone with this type of firing power, firing down the street. . .quite frankly, we could have a lot more people hurt."
Investigators used ballistics test to link the crimes.
The first shooting occurred on Saturday, April 6 at 7th and Venango Streets.
Tyrone Rosser (pictured), a 36-year-old father, died from multiple gunshots. A 42-year-old man was shot in the leg.
Both were standing at the corner of 7th and Venango, police say, when a man fired 22 rounds from a high-powered assault weapon. The man, fled, westbound, on Venango and then north on 8th Street.
Tony Burgos, who lives above the corner store, says he witnessed the entire incident.
"He walked up the block and was shooting, pretending to hold a gun and tah, tah, tah - he got hit like six or seven times," said Burgos.
The second incident happened at almost the same time -- just before 11 p.m. -- on April 13 and was captured on surveillance video.
The video shows the gunman run up after two men had crossed the street. He opens fire, shooting at two men, ages 36 and 19. Both were shot once and survived their injuries. A nearby store owner was injured from flying debris.
In the second case, there were 23 bullet casings from an AK-47 assault rifle.
The second attack occurred about four blocks away from the first shooting scene.
Surveillance video from the second shooting shows the suspect, who was in a white hoodie, during a second shooting. run up and open fire.
"It's a military eastern block assault rifle, commonly used by the Russians," said Lt. Joe Walsh, from the forensic science bureau. "Each rifle, each handgun, will leave identifiable marks on the cartridge casings that it leaves and also the projectiles that it fires out of the barrel."
Police used those identifiers to link the two crimes.
"It's very disturbing but it also points out -- you have weapons like this out here that some would argue thjat people, civilians should have in their hands. I would argue very strongly that this is what you see when you have weapons like this out here on the streets," said Commissioner Charles Ramsey. He used the opportunity to talk again about gun control.
"It has no purpose, no place on the streets of our city. At all. I mean you think you're looking at Iraq instead of Philadelphia when you look at that. It's crazy. It's absolutely insane," said Ramsey. "So for those people who still think we need assault weapons, they need to think again. . .anybody could have been walking down the street and been struck with one of those bullets."
Ramsey said there's a waiting list for gun buyers who want AK-47s, which used to be banned, but are now legal.
"You can't buy one of these weapons now without a waiting period, not because of a background check, but because they're buying them faster than you can manufacture and sell them. That's insane," Ramsey said.
Police, the Mayor's office and the Fraternal Order of Police all contributed money totaling $30,000 to recover the gun and the person using it.
"He's a very dangerous person and we have to get him off the streets," Clark said.
Police are asking anyone with information to call 216-686-3334 or x3335.