PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Gun violence is taking a toll on Philadelphia’s youth. Police are investigating several shootings, including one at a West Philadelphia recreation center where a 16-year-old boy was killed and two 15-year-olds were injured.
Mayor Jim Kenney says at this rate, Philadelphia is on track to experience its most violent year ever.READ MORE: Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct Involving Ocean City Beach Patrol Members Under Investigation
On Thursday, police added two more shootings to their growing list of investigations.
Between the two, seven people were shot and two of those people died, one of them just 16 years old.
Four people were shot in broad daylight Thursday afternoon on the 1400 block of North 76th Street in Overbrook. Chopper 3 was over that scene as police investigated after violence there left a 24-year-old, 30-year-old, 19-year-old, and 16-year-old shot.
Two of them have now died.
“We have a neighborhood that is traumatized by having four people shot in what appears to be a shootout, and a shootout in an area that is normally peaceful,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said.
Investigators are trying to determine a motive for the attack.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw is asking eyewitnesses to step forward.READ MORE: Multiple Faiths Joining Forces To Combat Philadelphia's Rising Gun Violence
“Given the number of people shot and what time, it’s not only puzzling, but it leads us to believe there are more people out here that know about what happened,” Outlaw said.
Hours later, three more people were shot. This time, all teenagers and all inside the Christie Rec Center at 55th and Christian Streets in West Philadelphia. Gunfire erupted there just after 7:30 p.m. while a group was playing basketball.
A 16-year-old boy identified by police as Kyrie Simmons was shot in the back of the neck and killed. A 15-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl were also grazed by bullets. They’re expected to be OK.
As police work to track down the gunmen in both shootings, Mayor Kenney addressed the spike in youth violence and issued a statement that reads in part, “At this rate, 2021 is on track to be the most violent year we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. We cannot stand by as we lose an entire generation to this ongoing scourge of gun violence. We must rise up with one united voice to demand this horrific violence come to an end, and work together to achieve that goal.”
Kenney says starting next week, his administration will host regular briefings to share strategies that are now underway to address violence.
No arrests have been made in these latest cases.
Anyone with information should call police.
For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.MORE NEWS: 2 Mothers, Babies Rushed To Hospital After Being Rescued From Burning Frankford Apartment Building, Officials Say
CBS3’s Jan Carabeo contributed to this report.