Deadly gang violence contributing to Philadelphia's increasing homicide number, DA says

As the number of homicides in Philadelphia this year nears 500, law enforcement officials announced charges against multiple people in deadly gang-related shootings they say have added to the senseless bloodshed. 

Anthony Lacey-Woodson, a 20-year-old member of Philadelphia's ‘46th Street Boys’ and ‘o2da4’, was arrested on Thursday along 22-year-old Jalen Mickens in connection to the shooting death of Salahaldin Mahmoud nearly a year and a half ago. 

Lacey-Woodson and Mickens were also charged in two other shootings that happened in Philadelphia on July 4th, 2021. Mahmoud was a business owner who was attending a community party for a nearby new business when investigators say four people opened fire, killing Mahmoud, 23-year-old Sincarr Johnson and wounding two others. 

Investigators also named Tyheed Cooper, Kimberly Johnson, Fabian Creary, Calvin Gatewood, Nasir Wells and Ahmir Johnson as the individuals facing charges that range from murder to tampering with public records.

Police say Ahmir Johnson, the son of Kimberly Johnson, turned himself in to police on Tuesday. He is facing criminal conspiracy, attempted murder and related charges in connection with a nonfatal shooting on the 1100 block of Divinity Street, according to authorities. 

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Anthony Lacey-Woodson (Philadelphia Police Department)

Investigators outlined a handful of other Southwest and West Philadelphia shootings they say stemmed from an ongoing feud between two groups of various gangs, including the murder of 15-year-old Antonio Walker Jr. in March. They believe the deadly battle may have started in Jan. 2021, when Lacey-Woodson's uncle was murdered. 

Assistant District Attorney Jeffery Palmer believe the gangs are small groups of friends who are associated with certain blocks, but do not answer to a strict leader. These gangs, according to Palmer, brag about their activity on social media, often appearing in rap videos on YouTube. 


"They'll mock the deceased member or friends of these individuals and then at that point that's motivation for a retaliatory shooting," Palmer said. "It goes, frankly, back-and-forth until these individuals are taken into custody." 

Law enforcement officers believe the gang members sometimes open fire in order to leave their stamp on the neighborhood, or show that their serious.