PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The South Street Headhouse District held its monthly meeting Wednesday. Dozens of businesses say they’re concerned about safety and a lack of police.
Business owners are concerned about crowds getting out of control like what happened on South Street last Saturday, and many businesses at the meeting are demanding action.READ MORE: Viewing Underway For Fallen Firefighter Lt. Sean Williamson In South Philadelphia: 'It's A Terrible Tragedy'
“Remember it used to be a $300 fine for noise on South Street? Why can’t we do that,” Moshe Hannanel, the owner of Valente, said.
Man: “You’re saying exactly what I said.”
Hannanel: “Ok, let’s do it.”
South Street’s business community met where tempers flared and owners sounded off.
“What we need right now is an unprecedented response,” Body Graphics owner Bill Funk said.
Some asked why police made no quality of life arrests, despite the big crowds Saturday night. Three people died and 11 people were hurt in that shooting.
“It looked unsafe before the shooting. It should have been broken up,” South Street Market manager Abdel Haidara said.
Others asked what was being done to improve safety.
“Is there any intention of boxing us out again like you did Sunday?,” Spoonie, the owner of O’Neals Pub, asked.
That’s being considered.READ MORE: Phillies' Bryce Harper Out Indefinitely With Broken Thumb After Being Hit By Pitch In 4-2 Win Over Padres
Those at the meeting also pointed out there was a second shooting in the area days before Saturday. And others say ATVs are frequently roaming streets and causing chaos.
“Where do these kids come from? Because if this is going to be a summertime thing again this year, we might as well just close up,” Nick Ventura, the owner of Copabanana, said.
Security video captured the blasts of gunfire police say erupted at 4th and South Streets early Tuesday morning.
South Street is among Philadelphia’s top tourist destinations and features more than 400 businesses, according to the South Street Headhouse District.
“Our intention is to make this a better, safer area. And we are going to push the city to help us in that regard,” South Street Headhouse District Executive Director Mike Harris said.
“What are we, as a city going to do to address concerns and what people believe is lawlessness or illegal activity in the streets before something like this happens?” councilmember Mark Squilla said.
“I would tell the cops to do a better job, try to get more aware of what’s going on,” Blink Optical worker Ryan Luqa said.
Neighbors and local business owners will hold a town hall meeting to discuss their concerns. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw will speak at the meeting. It begins at 5:30 p.m. at the George Nebinger School on Carpenter Street.
Armando Llanes of South Philly is among a crowd of people looking forward to hearing from Philly Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw at a neighborhood meeting this evening at George W. Nebinger School @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/yMTsLX1ewW
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) June 8, 2022
Meanwhile, Philadelphia police released a picture of a suspect they’re searching for in connection to the shooting. Police say the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.
The suspect is described as a male in his late teens. He was seen wearing a COVID-style mask and a black hooded shirt with distinctive markings. A video shows him walking into a convenience store and standing near 3rd Street about 20 minutes before the gunfire began.
Police say he was armed with a .40 caliber handgun.MORE NEWS: South Philadelphia Shooting Leaves 2 Men Injured: Police
“I heard 20 to 30 gunshots coming from what appeared to me, American and Bainbridge,” Philadelphia police Lt. Michael Long said. “Officers responded down there and assistance was dropped for police officers in the area.”