PHILADELPHIA - A 17-year-old boy is among four people who were shot and killed over the weekend in Philadelphia. The widespread gun violence saw police respond to nearly 20 shootings from Friday night to Sunday.
Police say the spate of gun violence began just before 9:30 on Friday night when a 17-year-old boy was gunned down on Harold Street in Kensington. The teenage victim was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital.
The rash of late-night gun violence spilled over into Saturday morning as police responded to 10 more shootings. Among them, a 28-year-old man was critically wounded when he was shot in the chest at a home in Brewerytown. An 18-year-old was shot nine times in Kensington but is expected to recover. And a 17-year-old was critically wounded in North Philadelphia.
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The senseless gunfire did not abate on Saturday, as police say nine more shootings occurred between 3:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. Sunday. Included in the violence, police say at least five people between the ages of 16-26 were injured when unknown gunmen opened fire on police during a gathering of 200 people in North Philadelphia. No officers were injured and police did not return fire.
Speaking at the scene, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw described the violence as "disturbing" and "disheartening."
"We’re doing everything that we can to make sure that we resolve these matters in an expeditious manner so we can hopefully get ahead of anything that could occur as a result of this," Outlaw said.
Elsewhere in the city, police say three men were killed by gunfire overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. A 20-year-old man was gunned down on Webster Street in South Philadelphia sometime before midnight. In Germantown, police say a 31-year-old man died after he was shot 10 times on the 5000 block of Merion Street. Police say another man was shot and killed on the 4700 block of Lansing Street in Holmesburg sometime before 5 a.m. At last tally, police have reported that 24 people were injured by gunfire between Saturday and Sunday.
The city's growing issue with gun violence was emphasized last week when it was reported that Philadelphia now ranks second in the nation in homicides behind only Chicago.
Last week, community and city leaders came together for two days to brainstorm how to combat intercity violence after the shooting death of a 5-year-old boy in West Philadelphia. The city has also spearheaded an effort to limit guns on the streets by starting a gun check program where people can surrender their firearms anonymously.
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