PHILADELPHIA, PA (WTXF) - Police are investigating two deadly shootings only a block apart and the police commissioner says gang violence is to blame.
On Sunday, police responded to Temple Road where a young man was shot. Earlier in the afternoon another man was gunned down on Vernon Road. Detectives are looking for the killers in both murders.
“As you can tell I'm somewhat exasperated by this, the fact that I'm even here,” Philadelphia Commissioner Ross said.
It's gotten so serious on the streets of Philadelphia that the police chief himself came to the area on a Sunday night.
Within one block, three people shot, and 2 killed in the course of a few hours and so far, no arrests.
The first shooting happened around 3:30 Sunday afternoon.
In the 1400 block of Vernon road, officers responded to a call for a person with a gun. When they arrived, they found a 21-year-old man shot twice in the head lying face down on the highway. The gunman, a black male with short hair, about six feet tall, in a light grey hoodie was seen running away.
The preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was talking to an aide to Pennsylvania State Representative Chris Rabb when the gunman walked up behind him and shot him in the head.
The gunman began to walk away, but then returned and shot the victim two more times.
He fled northbound on the 8000 block of Fayette Street.
The victim has been identified as 21-year-old Alex Cherry from the 8000 block of Temple Road.
Then, four hours later, around 7:30p.m., witnesses say they saw an occupant of a red SUV get out of the vehicle and start shooting into the crowd.
Officers responded to a call for a report of gunshots and a person with a gun on the 8000 block of Temple Road.
When they arrived, they were directed to the 1400 block of Vernon Road where they found the victim inside of the Chinese Take Out Restaurant suffering from a gunshot wound to the back.
The 18-year-old victim was later pronounced dead at Einstein Hospital. He has been identified as Elijah Frazier from the 7800 block of Michener Avenue.
A 17-year-old victim with a graze wound to the head was found on the 7800 block of Michener Avenue. He was taken to Einstein and listed in stable condition.
The police chief thinks the cases are directly related and gang related, although it's not known yet if either victim in Sunday night’s shooting was the gunman in the earlier one.
“It speaks to what we deal with across this city and cities across the nation, with retaliatory violence, and the matter which particularly young people handle their grief, and heir retribution. And it's ridiculous,” Ross said.