PHILADELPHIA - A local congressman sent letters to Mayor Jim Kenney and President Joe Biden pleading for action to put an end to the surge of gun violence in Philadelphia.
Kiere, 19, tries to stay cool on a hot July day as he fixes cars. He sees firsthand the violence plaguing his neighborhood.
"People just out here doing it just cause ain’t no reason behind it, like alright he said this end it there, alright I’m gonna kill him, I’m gonna shoot him, I’m gonna retaliate. It ain’t even that deep," he said.
U.S. attorney general recently announced that five cities will see enforcement stepped up in places where it's easy to get a gun.
Third congressional district representative Dwight Evans believes Philadelphia should be on that list. He wrote to President Joe Biden asking for federal action.
"That’s the agencies working together. ATF, FBI, Homeland security, working in addition to the police department. The police department cannot do it by themselves," Evans said.
So it begs the question, does the City of Philadelphia need to be in a state of emergency?
Some council members think so. In fact, in zip code19139 there have been 87 shooting victims. You can see an outline of a bullet that was here from a shooting just two days ago, three were shot, two teens were killed.
Councilmember Helen Gym is demanding the mayor address and put resources into these zip codes.
"Since 2020, more than 830 children have been shot in this City of Philadelphia and half of them come out of 25 schools in this city. We have made that clear to the mayor and what have we gotten in return?" Gym asked.
Earlier this week, Mayor Kenney stated that he would not declare a citywide emergency, despite the continuing calls to do just that.
"For us to hit this tragic milestone mid-year is simply heartbreaking and unacceptable," Kenney said of reaching more than 300 homicides in 2021. "It's a clear indicator that this is a health crisis of epic proportions."
The mayor added that he has called the rising violence a "public health emergency," and that his administration has been working on "evidence-based interventions to stem the tide of violence."