gun violence

Gunmen Ambush, Kill Man Parking Pickup Truck With Wife Next to Him

A witness told police that the gunmen appeared to wait in a car for the victim to come home before walking up to the pickup truck and opening fire

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A man was ambushed by gunman and killed in front of his wife as he backed his pickup truck into the driveway of a Northeast Philadelphia home early Thursday.

"It appears to be an ambush," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Philadelphia police rushed to a home on Whitaker Avenue, near Bleigh Avenue, in the Rhawnhurst section of the city around 1:30 a.m. to find a man in his 30s unresponsive in the front seat of his pickup truck, Small said.

"He was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his chest and torso," Small said.

The man died a short time later at the hospital.

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His wife told investigators that her husband had just backed his truck into the driveway of their home when two men approached and started firing, Small said.

Investigators found evidence that more than 30 shots were fired, with at least 15 of the shots striking the driver's side of the truck -- several hitting the man in the driver's seat, Small said.

"His wife -- who was in the front passenger seat -- very, very lucky that she was not struck by gunfire because multiple bullets went in the driver's side and exited the passenger's side of the vehicle they were in," Small said.

A witness told police that shooters were in a parked sedan and "it appeared that they were waiting for this individual to return home," Small said.

Police hope that surveillance video from nearby properties could help them track down the killers.

No exact motive was given for the shooting.

Entering Thursday, at least 154 people had been killed in Philadelphia so far in 2023, according to police data. The homicide count is down about 14% from the same time last year, but still much higher than many other years on record.

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

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