By Jan Carabeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A shooting outside of Pat’s Steaks in South Philly left one man dead Thursday. A 23-year-old man was shot in the back around 1 a.m. The violence unfolded in front of half a dozen people outside the popular restaurant on Wharton and South 9th Streets.

The shooter and victim were in line at the time.

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Police say an argument escalated. They were actually involved in a physical fight, according to witnesses. And the shooter then pulled a gun and fired one shot.

“We believe the shooter and our victim were both in the customer area when a physical confrontation broke out. The shooter then pulled a gun and fired one shot,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Eyewitnesses say the shooter then got into a van – driven by someone else – and fled the scene.

But the suspected shooter turned himself in a short time later. Investigators say he notified authorities and was located at 5th and Market Streets, near Independence Hall.

 

“At this time, we do not have the van. We believe the driver of the van was a female that took the shooter. But we have the license plate of the van and a good description of the van, the name and model,” Small said.

An eyewitness who lives nearby, but did not want to be identified, said he heard the gunfire and saw the chaos that followed.

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“So it’s like… something happened so close to home,” he said. “It’s a panicked situation. Everyone ran. People ran inside different businesses. People ran different directions. It was crazy.”

This is just the latest homicide in a year on track to become the deadliest on record in Philly.

At least 309 homicides to date at the time of Mayor Jim Kenney’s gun violence press briefing on Wednesday. That number has now grown.

“I have called the rise in gun violence a public health emergency,” Kenney said.

Amid calls for Mayor Kenney to declare a state of emergency on gun violence in Philadelphia, the mayor doubled down on Wednesday on why he does not believe that will make a difference.

“I do not believe that a local emergency declaration will have any benefit for Philadelphia. Governor Wolf and I have discussed the potential for a state order, like in New York, and will continue those discussions. But a local declaration will not unlock any funding. We’ve already done that,” Kenney said.

But this escalating gun violence has many wondering what place is safe in Philadelphia.

“We came here just enjoying a typical night. We were out at the bar. Why are we going on to come here and have to have our lives at risk? I don’t get that at all,” Zach Lomas, of Marlton, New Jersey, said.

Pat’s Steaks has since reopened.

Investigators will be reviewing surveillance video from both Pat’s and Geno’s, which is right across the street. In the meantime, homicide detectives are speaking to that shooting suspect. We’re told he is cooperating with police.

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For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.