At one of Philadelphia's most famous nightlife events, three people were murdered and at least 11 were wounded in a downtown shooting late Saturday. With the ongoing killing spree across the country, city officials are wondering when the city's escalating violence will end.
Samantha Rosenstock, a city official, said,
"I live in constant fear. This morning, I woke up to a phone call from my sister asking I am safe and inside the house... that's my world right now!"
The most recent incident occurred on a busy night on South Street, where thousands gather each weekend for music, shows, restaurants, and shopping.
Just before midnight, police officers were patrolling the area near Second and South streets when they heard repeated gunshots and saw several offenders firing in a huge crowd.
Two men and a woman identified by Philadelphia authorities late Saturday
As per reports by the Philadelphia Police Department, they identified two of the three victims slain in the downtown shooting on Saturday night as 34-year-old Gregory Jackson and 27-year-old Alexis Quinn. A co-worker identified the third deceased as Kristopher Minners, 22, but police did not confirm his identity straight away.
Danielle Outlaw, the Philadelphia Police Commissioner, told sources,
"Officers were monitoring South Street, a busy entertainment zone with clubs and restaurants, when bullets rang out at 11:30 pm."
Two of the fatalities were innocent passersby, according to Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, while the third was involved in "a physical altercation" with another guy. According to Outlaw, investigators believe the two males started shooting at each other and were both hit by gunfire.
On South Street, police believe five weapons were used. They were able to recover two firearms.
Philadelphia Police Sgt. Ericc Gripp said,
"The gunfire was spurred between, at least in part, by two men who were in a physical altercation on South Street, according to the surveillance footage."
"One man gain an advantage in the fight and shot at the other man, who then returned fire. One of the men involved in the fight is the third person who died."
Eleven other individuals were shot, including a 23-year-old man who was shot multiple times and was classified in critical condition on Sunday.
According to the city controller's office, Philadelphia established a record of 562 homicides last year, a 13 percent increase over 2020. Before Saturday's deadly shooting, there have been 211 homicides in Philadelphia this year, a minor 5 percent decline from the same period in 2021.
Mayor Jim Kenny said on Monday,
"Once again, we see lives senselessly lost and those injured in yet another horrendous, brazen and despicable act of gun violence."
The location yielded "a large number" of shot casings. Investigators say they'll need to look at surveillance video, ballistics evidence, and witness accounts from the site. The search is still underway, with both state and federal authorities involved. As of Sunday afternoon, no arrests had been made.