PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Another violent night in Philadelphia has police seeking answers. The violence added five murders to the city’s record-breaking tally of gun violence this year, including the murder of a man who was shot while walking home from the park with his children.
As of Friday morning, police report that there have been 286 homicides in the city, a level of violence not seen in the city in more than a decade.
In West Philadelphia, residents say they’re not standing in fear, they are fighting back.
Police manned a West Philly neighborhood on foot Friday afternoon, handing out flyers to neighbors and leaving them in mailboxes.
“They need to put the guns down. Enough is enough,” West Philadelphia resident Cherri Wilkins said.
They’re looking for answers after Will Myatt was shot multiple times in the torso after leaving a nearby park. Officials say a suspect in a black mask targeted him. There was absolutely no regard for his 3- or 9-year-old children and their dog.
“They saw their dad get shot and it’s going to be with them. It’s sad and scary,” Wilkins said.
“How do you feel when a child is 7,10, 11 gotta go to a gravesite every birthday to see his father in a grave?” West Philly resident Derrick Smith said.
Homicides are up more than 34% in Philadelphia so far this year, with more than 100 children caught in the crosshairs.
Change is happening on North Simpson Street near Race Street, where 7-year-old Zamar Jones was shot and killed while playing on his porch.
The block association has been trying to get speed bumps placed on their street for two years. It took that shooting for the Streets Department to make progress.
“I’m upset. I’m upset it took for this to happen, for Zamar to get shot and we lose him, now they wanna do something,” resident Makeeba McNeely said.
Neighbors believe it will curb drive-by shootings.
To further help cut down on the violence, elders are also reaching out to young adults.
“If they have animosity and need somebody to talk to, we have people on this block that will talk to them civilized and make sure they go the right way,” Smith said.
A captain from the Southwest police division says they’re doing their best to be proactive. That not only includes finding criminals but also getting the community to trust and work with them.