Philadelphia witnessed its 500th homicide in 2021 on Wednesday after a 55-year-old woman was shot dead, in what is described as the city’s worst year since 1990.
Video of the incident showed the woman shouting “call 911” running towards two pedestrians in south Philadelphia around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
As the pedestrians fled, another man entered the camera frame with a gun in his hand. He followed her around a jeep and shot her five times. Three of them touched his chest. The victim was taken to hospital but doctors declared her dead on arrival.
The suspected gunman, who police say is the woman’s husband, was seen casually walking down the street after committing the crime. The police urged him to surrender.
The fatal shooting came days after a 24-year-old woman was gunned down by her ex-boyfriend in front of her young children. In another incident, a seven-month-pregnant woman returning home from a baby shower received at least 11 bullets in the abdomen on November 20. The 32-year-old woman was pronounced dead at a medical center shortly after, also losing her unborn child.
“Please stop shooting yourself,” City Council Chairman Darrell Clarke said at a press conference on Wednesday. “Please stop killing our community.”
“The message is for all those who find themselves at the level of despair where they think there is no other way or who find themselves in the state of mind that prompts you to shoot a woman. pregnant. Think about it, man. Do not continue this activity because it is killing our communities, ”he said.
“There is a better way,” added Mr. Clarke. “We just put $ 155 million on the streets with community groups, right? We have jobs available. We have wrap-around services available.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw called the spike in killings unreasonable loss of life that is “almost too much to bear”.
“These victims are more than a number. It’s not about reaching 200, 300, 500, 600. These are people … And for those whose lives were tragically cut short, their lives left a void in the hearts of their families and their absence has left a profound impact on our community, ”she said.
Ms. Outlaw reminded people that there was a permanent reward of $ 20,000 for information leading to arrests and convictions.
There has been an increase in gun violence in the city amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to the collapse of the US economy.
In October, Philadelphia announced it would spend $ 14million (£ 10.5million) to equip all its officers with stun guns, train them in their use and require officers to wear them while on duty.
The announcement was made on the anniversary of the fatal police shooting on Walter Wallace Jr. On October 26, 2020, Wallace, a black man, was shot 14 times by two white police officers for holding a knife.
Meanwhile, Mayor Jim Kenney accused lawmakers of failing to act on the flow of illegal weapons into the city.
“It’s heartbreaking, heartbreaking, terrible having to get up every morning and look at the numbers,” he said.
“There are people who make money selling these guns, making these guns, and the legislature, not the people behind me, doesn’t care. They don’t care how many people are killed, ”Kenney added.
The Independent Gt