PHILADELPHIA, PA (WTXF) Dozens of bullet casings litter a Philadelphia street following a night of violence. It could be “any” given night in the city and it is a scene that is being repeated too often in some neighborhoods.
A Philadelphia woman, who wishes to remain unnamed out of fear for her life, recently endured yet another shoot out right in front of her house.
One of the bullets even came into her home through an outside wall and ricocheted off her back door. Four bullets hit her house in that hail of gunfire, but she says police are counting far more.
In a separate shooting a bullet went through her front door, and once again she had narrowly escaped with her life.
"We are not even safe in the privacy of our own home,” the woman explains.
She keeps her doors locked and her shades drawn at all times, and says she’s afraid to even leave her house.
Adding insult to injury, she says the people who live in the adjoining house next door are heavy drug users whose toxic fumes seep into her place through a connected ventilation system.
"If I inhale it long for so long. I'm dizzy. They smoke day in and day out."
All of the vents in the house are covered, and the woman never turns on her heat or air conditioning. She relies solely on portable units because the smell is so sickening.
She says her adult daughter, who she lives with, is asthmatic and has other health issues, as well. She fears this unhealthy and unsafe environment will eventually cause them both harm.
The woman has called the police, the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), and the local city council representative countless times, but says her cries for help have fallen on deaf ears.
So Fox 29 reached out to the local police on her behalf.
LT. John Stanford, the Philadelphia Police Spokesperson responded saying, "District Commander will work with Housing Police to look at that. This is a housing development, perhaps we have to come up with a strategy with housing police and address that.”
At her wits end, this woman wants the Philadelphia Housing Association to find her different housing, but it is unclear if that will happen.
"Their fear is legitimate. When you are living in a neighborhood and you have these individuals that are out there, shooting at one another and they don't care about anyone else, that fear is legitimate,” Lt. John Stanford says.
That is why they are trying to place foot patrols and increase police presence in high crime neighborhoods, but police say they need the publics’ help if they are ever going to get a leg up on the bad guys.
"We can't do it alone. We are fighting it every day, and have to look at the laws that are created, and look at why these people are back on the street each and every day,” Lt. John Stanford says. “Again we need that constant community partnership in order to stop these individuals that are out there putting people in fear, because it is not fair.”
The unidentified woman says it goes way beyond not fair, and hopes to see a change in the near future.