A teenage girl was injured when a gunman opened fire on a vehicle with multiple people inside that was parked next to a playground on a West Philadelphia street Thursday night.
The 16-year-old and at least three other girls or women were sitting in the car on the 500 block of N. 51st Street when at least one gunman walked up and fired more than two dozen shots at them a little before 10:30 p.m., striking the girl in the shoulder, Philadelphia Police Department Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
No one else was hurt, he said.
Witnesses said the gunman stood right in front of the car when he or she opened fire, and police found at least 25 spent shell casings from two different caliber bullets, Small said, adding that it appeared to be an intentional attack.
Both the girl and the others in the car were lucky to escape with their lives, the chief inspector said.
Police did not immediately make an arrest.
The girl’s shooting came just hours after local and federal agency leaders vowed an “all-hands-on-deck” initiative to combat rising gun violence in Philadelphia.
As of April 8, the city had already seen 132 homicides in 2021, according to Philadelphia Police Department crime data. That is a 33% increase from the same time last year, which was already a year that ended with the second-highest homicide total that the city had seen in six decades. Meanwhile, statistics from the Office of the Controller show 422 nonfatal shootings as of April 7 of this year.
The violence has not excluded children, either. Earlier this week, a 15-year-old boy died when two gunmen opened fire in North Philadelphia. As of April 7, 47 children and teens under 18 had been shot in the city, according to Office of the Controller data. That figure does not include the 16-year-old girl shot in West Philadelphia.
"Night after night after night, shots are fired until people are killed or injured," Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said Thursday. "At this rate we are on pace to pass 600 homicides here in Philly. That is shocking."
There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.