These extremely violent weekends seem to be becoming the norm in Philadelphia, especially with children getting caught crossed in the crosshairs. Sunday was the second straight day an 11-year-old boy was shot.
Another violent weekend in Philadelphia that resulted in children getting shot.
Just after 7:45 p.m. Sunday, a bullet grazed the back of an 11-year-old boy on the 1500 block of South Napa Street in Grays Ferry. A 43-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man were also shot.
Saturday, bullets grazed another 11-year-old boy’s shoulder and head as he walked from the Olney Recreation Center just before 10 p.m.
“They say he was out here playing basketball. We know he wasn’t the intended target,” James Hopkins, a crisis intervention team member on Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network, said. “They say it was 12 shots fired and they say he was a visitor from Pottstown.”
Right around the same time, a barrage of bullets rained down on a group of people having a cookout at the Clayborn and Lewis Playground at North 38th and Poplar Streets in West Philly.
“I thought I heard firecrackers, fireworks of some kind,” neighbor Nannette Carter said. “They were down there minding their business, having a cookout and nobody did anything or said anything to them, they seemed to be enjoying themselves.”
Three men and three women, ranging in the age from 17 to 59, were shot.
Police say one of the victims is pregnant. They’re all expected to survive.
“Thoughts and prayers” isn’t enough.
“We’re working on it” isn’t enough.
Our community is being devastated by gun violence. It’s literally killing us. We deserve to know what the City is doing to address this crisis.
— Councilmember Jamie Gauthier (@CouncilmemberJG) August 9, 2020
“It’s sad, not only are there kids, but a lot of females is getting shot too,” Hopkins said. “It’s like you can’t even go outside and play, you can’t even sit outside on your steps comfortable. It’s getting real sad and depressing.”
In total, at least 22 people were shot in the city on Saturday and Sunday thus far.
People who spoke with Eyewitness News say conflict resolution needs to be taught early at home and in school so that people don’t default to violence when they get into disputes with others.
“When somebody offends you, as opposed to go grabbing a gun, learn what to do, how to deescalate,” Roy Clark said. “Most of the time, the people they’re shooting at don’t even get shot. It’s the innocent bystanders and it’s babies, and it’s killing our communities. It’s killing us.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw released a statement that she was devastated by rampant gun violence. She wrote, in part, “These acts of lawlessness have no place in our communities; and I remain steadfast in that we will hold accountable those individuals who seek to cause harm in our city.”
So far, no arrests have been made.
For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.