Philadelphia's homicide rate continues to climb in 2019

Not yet three months into 2019 and the city of Philadelphia is already ahead of last year's record number of homicides.

Wednesday night was another reminder of the violence that continues to plague the city. Overnight incidents in Kensingon, Center City and South Philadelphia have left several dead and more senseless bloodshed.

Shortly before 9:30 p.m. on the 700 block of East Ontario Street in Kensington a man was shot and killed by a masked gunman while inside a Chinese food restaurant. The suspect is still at large, though police have some evidence to with.

"We did recover video which shows an unidentified gunman approach from the south on Wymouth Street," said Philadelphia Police Captain Jason Smith. "The gunman shoots and flees on foot northbound."

Elsewhere in the city in the early morning hours, a 36-year-old man was gunned down while sitting in his pickup truck on Catherine Street in Southwest Philadelphia.

In a briefing police said they have no witnesses, but investigators do know the grisly attack came at close range.

"It appears the shooter was sitting in the passenger side of the vehicle or reached in the window which was halfway down," said Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Then in Center City at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, a 33-year-old man was fatally stabbed during an altercation on a SEPTA platform at the Walnut-Locust Station.

Philadelphia has already notched 54 homicides in which 351 people were slain, a figure that is up 6% from last year.

Captain Jason Smith took control of the Homicide Unit in the New Year.

"I think we're a few ahead of where we were last year at this time and I don't know if I can point to a reason why," said Captain Smith.

A brisk flow of illegal guns is one reason for the violence say investigators, deep poverty and a raging opioid crisis contribute to the carnage.

All residents of the neighborhoods seem to know is fear.

"I've been here for 22 years and this is getting ridiculous," said a concerned resident. "22-year and this has been the worse."