Bullet casings littered the ground after a man was shot dead outside a South Philadelphia Wawa store late Friday night.
The shooting outside the convenience store on the 1600 block of S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard happened shortly before midnight and claimed the life of the 35-year-old victim, police said, adding that he was struck once in the chest. Initially, they said he was 25.
More than a dozen shots were fired, police said, with several spent shell casings seen on the ground. At least one car was hit by the gunfire, as well.
Surveillance cameras captured a man wearing a black hoodie, and police said they believe he was the shooter. No arrests, however, were immediately made.
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Philadelphia Police Department crime statistics show that at least 412 people had been killed in the city as of Friday night. That represents an 18% increase in the number of killings from the same time last year. That year ended with 499 slayings, nearly tying a high of 500 homicides in 1990.
Speaking with NBC10 earlier in the week, Mayor Jim Kenney said much of the blame for the violence comes down to the availability of guns and state laws preventing Philadelphia from enacting more stringent firearm restrictions.
“The bottom line with the gun violence are the guns, and I know in many ways we’re beyond that conversation because the Legislature will never do anything about gun control and probably the federal government won’t do it either,” Kenney said. “But there are certain things that we could do as a city that the Legislature keeps us from doing, and that involves straw purchasing, it involves the number of guns people can buy in a particular month.”
The city is currently engaged in a lawsuit that seeks to allow municipalities to enforce their own local gun control measures.
There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.