Philadelphia shooting: Community gathers in day of healing at place of violence

Philadelphia Masjid is working to heal a West Philadelphia community after tragedy as a community day is hosted at the very spot where more than 30 shots were fired almost three weeks ago, during a celebration to mark the end of Ramadan.

"It can be a trigger for anything. Just even being here in this space, for some people, can be a trigger," Executive Director of Black Brain Campaign, Farida Boyer, stated.

It’s been nearly three weeks since more than 30 gunshots were fired at an Eid al-Fitr event in West Philadelphia. The holy day marks the end of Ramadan and, instead of celebrating the day, came to an end with its 1,000 attendees running and ducking for cover.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said, "A lot of trauma that day and a significant impact on the community. And, so part of that work is coming back together and making people know that the resilience of the community is here."


Philadelphia shooting: Father of victim shot during Eid event shares moving message to the city

A 23-year-old man was one of three people shot in West Philadelphia Wednesday during an Eid al-Fitr, end of Ramadan celebration with around 1,000 attendees. Now, his father is reacting to the news while sharing a powerful message to the city.

As a result of the shooting, three people were injured. Earlier this week, officials announced five people were taken into custody, but they are still looking for other shooters.

"Turn yourself in and if there are witnesses who saw this - turn those people in," DA Larry Krasner said. "We have to make sure our communities are safe, our kids are safe. We all have to work together."

On April 10th, Clara Muhammad Square was covered with victims' shoes, baby strollers, shell casing markers and leftover decorations. Meanwhile, Saturday’s event, held in the same location, people participated in yoga and meditation exercises.

Boyer said, "We want people to be able to heal from all of this. This one day is not going to heal all of their trauma, but it’s a start."


Beginning the healing process was the goal of the community event, featuring food, prayer, therapy resources and many elected officials. Inside the Philadelphia Masjid, Black Brain Campaign facilitated group counseling sessions for children, men and women.

"We wanted to make sure that we had clinicians here, on site, to say if you’re going through something, or if you’re experiencing something, we can actually walk and talk with them," Boyer explained.

Also, since four of the suspects are juveniles charged as adults, Muslim leaders worked to bridge the gap between the young and their elders.

"Our youth have to understand who they are, the history, and where we’ve been and where we’re going and what we’re lacking," Rodney Mohammed, with Muhammad Mosque, stated. "That’s why we are here today, to show the young people that we are one as God is one."


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Commissioner Bethel encourages young people to take advantage of the city’s job offerings for the summer. And seeing a lower turnout Saturday, he wants the community to know they are safe and protected. "We’re setting this tone and we challenge that if you’re going to be out here, we are going to come after you. We’re going to use every effort, every tool in our toolbox to come after those individuals who do harm to our community."

Rodney Mohammad continued, "It’s our community. So, if that’s true, and it is, then it’s our duty to protect and to make it safe."

The resources don’t end with Saturday’s event. There will be other trauma therapy and mental health services offered in the future.