Two men shot dead inside a still-running car were among at least three people killed and four wounded in six separate Philadelphia shootings within the span of five hours.
The men, who police said appeared to be in their 20s, were just two victims of gun the shooting spree that began Wednesday night and continued into Thursday morning.
Police responded to gunshots on the 3000 block of Arizona Street in Northeast Philadelphia around 10:30 p.m. and found the pair with gunshots to the head and unresponsive in the front seat of a still-running Kia sedan that had crashed into a parked van, Philadelphia Police Department Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
Several of the sedan’s doors were open when police arrived, meaning the gunman may have also been in the car at the time of the shooting, Small said. Additionally, investigators were told two men wearing masks were seen leaving the car, the chief inspector said.
Hours later, officers responding to a 911 call knocked down a door on the 900 block of North 68th Street in the Overbrook neighborhood and found a 43-year-old man dead from a gunshot to the face, Small said. Investigators said the man was wearing a security guard uniform and appeared to live at the house. They also noticed a bullet hole in a front living room window and a TV.
In West Philadelphia, officers found a 22-year-old man on the sidewalk who had been shot in the neck, back and legs shortly after midnight. Ballistic evidence showed at least 10 shots fired at close range from two semiautomatic guns, Small said. Officers rushed the man to a hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.
In Point Breeze, a 23-year-old man was shot multiple times inside a restaurant and was also listed in critical condition, Small said. In Hunting Park, meanwhile, a 35-year-old man was critically wounded from multiple gunshots on the 600 block of West Roosevelt Boulevard.
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In North Philadelphia, a 36-year-old man was shot in the leg but was stable, the chief inspector said.
No arrests were immediately made in any of the shootings.
The city continues to struggle as it attempts to stem an increase of gun violence and killings in the last few years.
As of Wednesday night, 79 people had been killed in Philadelphia, representing a 5% increase from the same time last year, according to PPD crime statistics. The 562 killings in 2021 were the most since the city first started keeping record.
Of the slayings, 490 were the result of shootings, according to the controller’s office. In addition, the controller’s office tallied 1,842 nondeadly shootings in 2021.
As of Tuesday, the office had tallied at least 251 nonfatal and 64 fatal shootings.
A multiagency report released in late January that examined more than 2,000 Philadelphia shootings found that gun violence overwhelmingly affects people of color who come from disadvantaged communities and have previously been traumatized by high levels of violence around them.
Among a slew of suggestions, the report recommended the city invest in disadvantaged communities, build trust between residents and police by increasing non-enforcement interactions and invest in better forensic technology for the police department.
There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.