3 dead, 11 wounded in downtown Philadelphia shooting
Gunfire from several shooters killed three people and wounded at least 11 others Saturday night in a popular Philadelphia entertainment district, authorities said.
Police officers were patrolling the area on South Street in central Philadelphia at about 11:30 p.m. when they heard shots. Racing to the scene, they found several people with gunshot wounds lying on the sidewalk and in the street and began to render aid, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
One responding officer saw a man on a street corner firing a handgun into a large crowd about half a block away, Outlaw said. The officer drew his weapon and fired several times; police believe the man was struck before he dropped his gun onto the sidewalk and fled, Outlaw said.
A police statement said the dead were Gregory Jackson, 34; Alexis Quinn, 27; and a 22-year-old man who was not identified. Investigators believe one of the three was involved in “a physical altercation” with another man, and those two began shooting at each other, with both struck by gunfire, Outlaw said.
The other two who were killed and a number of wounded, who ranged in age from 17 to 69, are believed to have been innocent bystanders, Outlaw said. She called it “a dark day” for the city, when many people enjoying a beautiful evening were victims of “horrendous and unthinkable acts ... in a very popular local and tourist hangout.”
“It’s important that we bring justice to the victims, their families and our community,” she said.
Two handguns were recovered, including one with an extended magazine. Chief Inspector Frank Vanore said investigators know from evidence at the scene that five guns were involved. In addition, police are investigating several other shootings before and after, one fatal, to see whether they might be related.
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital spokesperson Damien Woods said 10 patients came to the facility: three dead, six in stable condition and one who has been discharged.
Outlaw said police planned to bolster resources Sunday night in the area, as well as in nearby Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River that separates Pennsylvania from New Jersey.
South Street is known for its entertainment venues and nightlife, with bars, restaurants and other businesses. Surveillance video from a local business posted by WTXF-TV showed scores of people milling about on the sidewalks and in the street, then fleeing as the gunfire broke out. Police were seeking additional video surveillance footage from businesses in the area.
Mayor Jim Kenney called the shooting “beyond devastating.”
“Once again, we see lives senselessly lost and those injured in yet another horrendous, brazen and despicable act of gun violence,” he said in a statement Sunday morning. “My heart is with the family, friends, loved ones of those lost or injured and with everyone impacted by this terrible tragedy.”
Kenney said the surge in gun violence across the nation “makes me not just heartbroken but angry.” However, he said, fighting this violence will be “an uphill battle” without measures to address the “availability and ease of access to firearms.”
Eric Walsh, closing the outdoor seating area of a bar along the block, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the scene was “chaos.” He said he saw a young woman collapse to the ground on the corner.
“People were coming off the street with blood splatters on white sneakers and skinned knees and skinned elbows,” Walsh said. “We literally just were balling up napkins and wetting them and handing them to people.”
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