By Kimberly Davis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s been a violent start to 2021 in the City of Philadelphia. Three people were shot and killed overnight, on top of the nearly 500 people who were murdered in 2020.

2020 was filled with pain for much of the country, but especially for 498 families in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. And for those families, Philadelphia did not live up to its nickname.

That’s how many lives were lost due to violence.

It even left one mother afraid to let her children play outside after 7-year-old Zamar Jones was shot and killed on his own front porch back in August.

“She’s scared to even come around here to play with her friends. She said she doesn’t want any more of her friends to die. So how do you think that makes me feel as a mom hearing that from an 8-year-old?” the mother said.

It’s a new year, but sadly Philadelphia’s off to a similar start.

According to police, three people were shot and killed early on New Year’s Day, starting with the shooting of a 37-year-old man in South Philadelphia just minutes after midnight.

In Rittenhouse Square, a young woman was shot twice inside of a Walnut Street apartment building.

In a letter to the city, Mayor Jim Kenney addressed the gun violence on New Year’s Eve.

It reads, in part: “The majority of the lives lost to violence were taken by gunfire, and more than 2,000 people were shot overall. An alarming number of shooting victims were women and children, and those who survived were left with life-changing trauma and medical issues that create additional barriers to a full recovery.”

In a year of financial cuts and layoffs, the mayor says his office is pulling in resources to reduce the city’s gun violence.

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Police Department declined to comment on the city’s gun violence.

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