PHILADELPHIA - Authorities in Philadelphia say one person has been killed and at least five others wounded in a shooting at a graduation party in Southwest Philadelphia.
It happened shortly before 10:30 p.m. Sunday near South 70th Street and Reed Bird Place. Authorities say four teenagers, three 16-year-olds and one 15-year-old, suffered gunshot wounds to their legs. A 24-year-old man was also injured in the shooting. All were hospitalized in stable condition.
A 24-year-old man was fatally shot. Police identified the victim as Isiaka Meite of Doral Street.
Meite spent the last hours of his life, says his best friend, enjoying a family barbecue.
“He was just innocent. He didn’t deserve to die like this,” said sister Naminata Meite.
In his family’s Southwest Philadelphia home, there was deep sorrow for the 24-year-old.
His mother was comforted by Meite’s sister, Naminata.
“Why? The barbecue was supposed to be fun, just for the kids. The family gets together once a year. Not to be like this,” Naminata cried.
The city’s Police Commissioner argues cops are attacking gun crime, but the violence is coming in waves.
“The other thing it speaks to is a lack of concern about carrying these guns illegally. Don’t know whether that’s because they’re not concerned about the consequences.” asked Commissioner Ross.
Police report they’ve made over 200 more gun arrests in the first half of 2019 than in the same period last year.
“I’ve been to many graduation parties. I’ve never thought to bring a gun with me to a graduation party,” stated Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
In an afternoon briefing, the police commissioner pledged to re-position cops to areas of gun violence while investigators chase the three Paschall suspects.
“One male described as wearing a dark hoodie opened fire randomly and hit the six victims. They exited the park near the basketball courts near 70th and Reedbird,” stated Philadelphia Police Captain Jason Smith.
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Authorities have not provided a motive for the shooting, and have made no arrests.
The attack was one of several homicides amid a rash of gunfire and stabbings around the city this past weekend that left a total of four people dead and 25 others injured.
Tips can be submitted by calling 215-686-TIPS (8477) or texting PPD TIP (773847). Tips can also be submitted anonymously online. All tips are confidential.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
For resources for victims of violence in Philadelphia, see here.