PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Three people have died and at least 12 other people were wounded in a shooting late Saturday night on Philadelphia’s South Street.
The gunfire erupted shortly before midnight. That’s when police on patrol heard numerous gunshots from the 200 block of the street in the city’s Queen Village neighborhood.
Those officers saw several active shooters firing into a crowd, Inspector D F Pace said during an early Sunday morning news conference.
One of those officers, who was about 10 to 15 yards away, fired at one of the shooters. It’s unclear if that suspect was hit, Pace said.
However, that suspect dropped his weapon and fled.
At least two guns were recovered from the scene, and Pace said one of them had an extended magazine.
‘Numerous’ shell casings were found along the 200 and 300 blocks.
“It went on for much longer than I thought it should go on. At that point you question ‘what is that?’ I knew it must’ve been gunshots. It must’ve been 30 shots I heard,” said resident Frank Snyder.
In all, 15 people were hit by gunfire. Of those victims, three people are dead and 12 more are wounded.
The victims who were killed include a 26-year-old woman, a 22-year-old man and a 34-year-old man, police said.
The three people who died are a 26 year old woman, 22 year old man, and 34 year old man.
Sources now say an additional 12 people were shot. https://t.co/SoER2GTmEp
— Beccah Hendrickson (@Beccah6abc) June 5, 2022
According to police, the woman was shot in the rib cage and was pronounced dead at Jefferson University Hospital. The 22-year-old man was shot in the back and was later pronounced at Jefferson.
The 34-year-old man was shot twice in the chest and twice in the stomach, police said. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital where he later died.
Their names have not been released.
Mayor Jim Kenney, who is in Reno, Nevada at the Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, issued a statement Sunday morning saying he is ‘beyond devastated’ by this shooting.
“I know this shooting has shaken many people in our community. The safety of our residents and visitors is our top priority. We cannot accept continued violence as a way of life in our country,” Kenney said. “Until we address the availability and ease of access to firearms, we will always be fighting an uphill battle.”
*Alert* Emergency personnel are responding to a shooting incident in the area of 3rd and South Streets. Several people have been injured. Please avoid the area.
— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) June 5, 2022
Police believe there could be more people who were hurt. As the gunmen shot into the crowd, hundreds of people scattered.
“There were hundreds of individuals just enjoying South Street, as they do every single weekend, when this shooting broke out,” said Pace. “This investigation is still fluid. There are still a lot of unanswered questions,” Pace said.
No arrests have been made.
Pace said at least one of the shooters fled southbound on American Street.
Police are checking surveillance video to help them identify the shooters.
John Johnson was out having fun with his friends when the shooters opened fire. He looked down and saw a hole in his sneakers and smoke coming out of his foot. He says he saw people die around him. He feels fortunate he made it to the hospital @6abc pic.twitter.com/Gu2wIyn9JG
— Beccah Hendrickson (@Beccah6abc) June 5, 2022
The sheer number of victims meant rescuers had to transport them to three different hospitals, including Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Action News spoke with one of the survivors, Jon Johnson, outside the hospital on Sunday morning. He had been shot in the foot.
“You had some sick maniac, I don’t know who it was because my back was turned, and he started shooting at everybody,” Johnson said. “Some people made it, some people didn’t. Me personally I seen two people die right in front of my face.”
Full statement from Mayor Kenney:
“The events that transpired last evening on South Street are beyond devastating. Once again, we see lives senselessly lost and those injured in yet another horrendous, brazen and despicable act of gun violence. My heart is with the family, friends, loved ones of those lost or injured, and with everyone impacted by this terrible tragedy.
The Police Department is investigating this heinous crime to ensure the people who are responsible are brought to justice. I urge anyone with information about this incident, or any other crimes, to report it to 215-686-TIPS. Tips can be submitted anonymously. This is a complex, ongoing investigation and we will release more information about this incident as information becomes available.
Our city and country have experienced a steep rise in gun violence over the past few years. We’ve spent these years grappling with this rising epidemic and doing everything in our power not only to stop it but to try to understand why the violence continues-it’s senseless, needless, and deeply troubling.
I know this shooting has shaken many people in our community. The safety of our residents and visitors is our top priority. We cannot accept continued violence as a way of life in our country. Until we address the availability and ease of access to firearms, we will always be fighting an uphill battle. As Mayor, I will continue to fight to protect our communities and urge others to advocate for stronger laws that keep guns out of the hands of violent individuals.
The surge in gun violence that we’ve seen across the nation and here in Philadelphia makes me not just heartbroken, but angry. Our administration, in partnership with all of our local and federal law enforcement agencies, continues to work relentlessly to reduce violence and create safer communities.”
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