PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia has hit a grim milestone with 100 homicides so far this year following a historically bloody 2021 that saw more than 560 deadly crimes.
A 28-year-old man was pronounced dead Friday morning, following a shooting late Thursday night in West Philadelphia. That incident marked the city's 100th homicide.
According to the latest data provided by the Philadelphia Police Department, homicides are up 8% from this point last year. In the pandemic-plagued 2020, there were 68 homicides after the first week of March and in 2019 there were 59.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw responded to the news that the city had reached 100 homicides on Friday morning on Twitter.
"We are devastated that 100 people have been murdered this year. PPD will continue to utilize every resource we have to stem this tide of violence, and will not rest until we bring to justice those who seek to cause harm to our city and its people; it is our #1 priority," Outlaw wrote.
"It’s a public health crisis—period," Director of the Philly Truce app Mazzie Casher said. "Our goal is to stop young people from dying."
Philly Truce is an organization that works to bring people together to resolve conflict before it turns deadly. This May marks the group’s one-year anniversary and more support is needed.
"We need more people to get more serious and more involved in reclaiming their communities," Casher said.
In addition to conflict resolution through the app, the group canvasses neighborhoods on the weekends to encourage peace, save lives, and prevent prison.
"The youth are not really trusting adults. They’re not trusting officials. They’re not even trusting their parents," Philly Truce co-creator Steven Pickens said.
Casher explains that the rising crime statistics increase fear and decrease community participation, which is detrimental to their group's goal.
"Our message is this: ‘You won’t believe how horrible those numbers don’t sound when you are actively engaged in the solution.’" Casher said.
From work on the ground, Cashner believes people are fearful and young people carry guns to feel safer.
Last weekend in Philadelphia there were eight people killed and more injured in shootings between Friday night and Sunday. Many of those victims were teens and young adults.
On Thursday night there were four shootings in an hour span, among the victims were a 19-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman.
In one of those incidents, a 21-year-old man was shot three times in the stomach after police say a pair of gunmen opened fire on him as he sat in his car on Bleigh Avenue in Mayfair. The victim was able to run from his car after he was shot and investigators say one of the suspects gave chase and continued to shoot at him. The victim dove for cover between two parked cars and was later taken to the hospital in critical condition. A total of 28 spent shell casings were found at the scene.
Police say they do not have a motive in that incident, but that they know the victim had just left Abraham Lincoln High School minutes before he was shot.
Thursdays incident comes just five months after a stray gunfire struck and killed a 66-year-old man outside of Abraham Lincoln High School. A 16-year-old boy was also shot in the back of the head in that incident and recently spoke to FOX 29's Kelly Rule about his miraculous recovery.
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