City leaders vow to combat gun violence as shootings continue to surge across Philadelphia

City leaders called for action on Friday called for action after three separate shootings in one day left three people dead and six others injured.

Two of those killed were teenagers.

The gunfire began Thursday afternoon when a 17-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man were killed in a shooting that also wounded a 30-year-old and a 19-year-old man, police said.

The violence continued when a gunman opened fire near a rec center’s basketball court, police said.

Police found 16-year-old Kahree Simmons lying on a bench with gunshot wounds to the neck. He was taken to Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania where he died.

A 15-year-old boy and girl were also taken to CHOP and treated for graze wounds, according to police. They have since been released from the hospital.

Police said a man and a woman also were shot shortly before midnight.

No arrests have been made in the shootings.

"At this rate, 2021 is on track to be the most violent year we’ve experienced in our lifetimes," Mayor Jim Kenney said. "We cannot stand by as we lose an entire generation to the ongoing scourge of gun violence. We must rise up with one united voice to demand this horrific violence come to an end, and work together to achieve that goal."

The mayor announced his administration will host public briefings to discuss strategies to address the situation. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw is promising more boots on the ground.

"We need our community to know that there will be far more boots on the ground and our presence will absolutely be visible," Outlaw said.

Prior to Thursday’s shootings, there had been 92 homicide victims in the city.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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