By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  Philadelphia officials say they are disturbed by a wave of gun violence that is killing young people at a frightening pace. They spoke at a news conference late Friday afternoon.

Philadelphia police are investigating three recent homicides involving teenagers. The rise in gun violence is requiring an all-hands-on-deck approach from police and city and state officials.

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2021 is starting off at an alarmingly violent rate for Philadelphia as it struggles to stem the wave of gun violence that’s affecting young people.

The most recent incident was last night in West Philadelphia.

Shots were fired at Christy Recreation Center, at 55th and Christian Streets, around 7:30 p.m. Sixteen-year-old Kahree Simmons was killed, and two other teenagers were hurt. All three were playing basketball.

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State and local officials held a news conference at that rec center Friday. They say the recent gun violence against teens is a disturbing trend that will take a multi-faceted approach with community involvement to stem the violence.

“We know that there is always more that we can do to target resources to communities in need to hopefully prevent future tragedies. We simply cannot standby as we lose an entire generation to this ongoing surge of gun violence. We must rise up with one unified voice to demand this horrific violence come to an end,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.

“I, along with many of you, find it absolutely disturbing that children are doing exactly what they should be doing — playing outside on a warm day in their neighborhood — are increasingly becoming casualties of violent gun battles that are playing out here on our streets,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. “As a city, we all gotta do better.”

Outlaw says police will be more visible in areas like the Christy Recreation Center, and other hot spot areas in the city.

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Beginning next Wednesday, the mayor will hold weekly briefings about the ongoing gun violence epidemic.