OXFORD CIRCLE - Another violent week ends in Philadelphia, with at least five people killed and nearly two dozen hurt over the past couple of days. The shootings have left community members searching for answers.
A peace rally was held Friday evening for a local activist recently shot during a carjacking. Family, friends and supporting community activists are rallying around 27-year-old Raheem Bell, shot in the stomach during a carjacking last Sunday morning.
"It’s very hard. It’s very difficult, by the grace of God, we are making it through," Bell’s aunt, Tanya, said.
Two of his aunts spoke on behalf of his family on the 1400 block of East Chelten Avenue in the Northeast, near where the carjacking and shooting took place.
Bell’s Aunt Tanya, who didn’t want to give her last name, says they are lucky to still have Bell with them. He’s in the hospital on a long road to recovery.
Police say it was around 6 Sunday morning when four men dragged Bell out of his car, shot him and took his 2015 Mercedes-Benz as he was parking outside his house.
"It’s a hurt that you can’t explain, but you just pray and ask God to relieve you of it," Bell's aunt Leslie Bey remarked.
Bey, says he owns a home healthcare business. Family members say he’s a community partner with the 15th District Police Town Watch Coalition and local block captain.
Nneka Burnett says he held a toy drive last Christmas to help parents struggling due to the pandemic.
"He was planning to give out baskets for Easter so his mother didn’t want his desire to go for naught, so with the prayer rally, his mother asked if we could give out baskets," Burnett explained.
In honor of Bell, families received baskets during the rally. Burnett says she hopes the community can move forward from this as Bell continues to heal.
"Some people hide in their homes because of the violence, and we gotta come out and take our communities back," Burnett added.
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- 5 dead, more than a dozen hurt after spate of shootings across Philadelphia Thursday, Friday
- 18-year-old shot to death in West Philadelphia, police say
- Philadelphia officials consider resolution designating Kensington a FEMA site
- Hunting Park shooting leaves 3 in critical condition, police say
- 'Enough is enough': Community comes together to call for justice in killing of 15-year-old Sean Toomey
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