PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia has reached a sobering milestone when it comes to gun violence. Eyewitness News recently looked at police department data from 2015 to the present and it shows that the number of gunshot victims in the city has now surpassed 10,000. More than 3,400 of those victims were shot in the past two years alone.
Organizers of two gun buyback events are hoping to change these statistics. A father grieving the death of his 10-year-old daughter is among them.READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Body Of Missing 26-Year-Old Casey Johnston Recovered, Officials Say
Warren Miles wears a pendant around his neck with his favorite photo of his daughter Shanyiah.
10y/o Shanyiah Miles died in an accidental shooting from her uncle’s unsecured gun in her #Kingsessing home on July 1st. Today, her father Warren spoke out in support of gun buyback events to help spare other families from going through the same pain. Story @CBSPhilly @ 530 & 6pm pic.twitter.com/voAZoTsL45
— Trang Do (@TrangDoCBS3) July 14, 2021
On July 1, Shanyiah accidentally shot and killed herself inside her Kingsessing home with a gun police say belonged to her uncle.
“With my daughter’s death, it’s making me feel like I have a mission to help get this word spread out in the community and across the world, to help children because our children are in danger,” Miles said.READ MORE: Colts' Carson Wentz Choosing Rest, Rehab For Foot Injury, Remains Out Indefinitely
He joined lawmakers, city, community and hospital leaders outside of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children to urge people to participate in two gun buyback events this weekend. Participants will receive a $100 Brown’s ShopRite gift card for each gun they turn in.
Advocates of these events say getting unsecured guns out of homes will not only help prevent fatal gun accidents like Shanyiah’s but also gun violence in the streets.
“Will this solve our problem in the city of Philadelphia? Absolutely not, but will it be a piece of the puzzle that allows us to bring the level of gun violence down, to a level where we can literally go outside of our houses,” City Council President Darrell Clarke said.
So far this year, 108 shooting victims were under the age of 18, which a City Council spokesperson said is a 40% increase from last year.
Dr. Grier Arthur of St. Christopher’s Hospital is on the front lines of treating these young victims.
“Every year, we see three to six children who are either dead on arrival or expire during their trauma resuscitation here at St. Christopher’s due to gunshot wound injuries,” he said. “As a pediatric surgeon, I have had to tell far too many families that their son or daughter has died as a result of a gunshot wound injury.”
Four previous gun buyback events this year have netted nearly 500 guns. The two this weekend will be held this Saturday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at:MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Fire Crews Battle Junkyard Fire In Port Richmond
- Mt. Enon Baptist Church, 500 Snyder Avenue
- Upper Room Baptist Church, 7236 Ogontz Avenue
For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.