SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - A 55-year-old woman is dead after she was shot multiple times in South Philly. The murder marks the 500th homicide in Philadelphia during 2021, which is the deadliest year in the city since 1990.
Officers responded to the report of a shooting at the intersection of 7th and Jackson around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
According to authorities, 55-year-old Eloise Harmon was found with multiple gunshot wounds to her chest. She was rushed to Jefferson and initially listed in critical condition and later died.
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An investigation into the shooting is underway. Police believe they know who they are looking for and said the shooting was domestic. There are numerous cameras near the incident that investigators will use to learn more about the deadly shooting.
Homicide numbers surged at the start of the year before deadly incidents slowed toward the end of the summer. The tragic rise in deadly violence has included children, teens and a meaningful jump in crimes against women.
More recent homicides involving women include the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old woman who was walking with her children and also the fatal shooting of a pregnant woman returning home from her baby shower.
The shooting follows a press conference in which city and state officials discussed their frustration with the number of shooting homicides in Philadelphia and how they are hoping to tamp down the violence.
"I'm personally heartbroken and outraged that we lost 500 Philadelphians, including many of our children and teenagers to needless violence this year," Mayor Jim Kenney said. "I never stop thinking about the victims and their families and the incredible loss these senseless death leave behind."
Kenney, a Democrat, called for tighter gun laws to combat the scourge of gun deaths and crimes. The second-term mayor said the Philadelphia Police Department is expected to remove over 6,000 crime guns this year; a 40% increase in two years.
"The volume of guns that are in circulation in our communities is at a record-high," Kenney said. "[Crime guns] join a sea of illegal and legal guns that are accessible in the heat of the moment, turning what could have stayed an argument into a homicide."
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said released the following statement in response to the grim milestone:
"Each and every homicide carries with it a profound sense of loss. However, for our City to have reached such a tragic milestone - 500 lives cut short - it carries a weight that is almost impossible to truly comprehend."
"There are not enough words to comfort our grieving families in their time of loss. However, I want these families to know that seeking justice for their loved one remains a top priority for the Philadelphia Police Department. We will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners and other stakeholders to get ahead of the violent crime that is plaguing our beautiful communities. We remain committed to proactively patrolling neighborhoods and encourage community members to continue to work alongside the police. We cannot undo what has already been done, however, we will continue to pursue any and all information that will bring justice and closure to each victim and their families. I urge anyone with information to come forward and share that information with the police. The lives lost are not unique to one neighborhood or section of this city— it is time that everyone joins together to become the catalyst for change in our communities."
Mayor Kenney also released a statement Wednesday, reading in part: "I am heartbroken and outraged that we’ve lost 500 Philadelphians—including many children and teenagers—to needless violence this year. I never stop thinking about the victims and their families, and the incredible loss these senseless deaths leave behind. As we close in on the end of a year where we saw unprecedented levels of shootings and homicides, part of a disturbing trend nationwide, I want all residents to know that our administration takes this crisis very seriously, and we continue to act with urgency to reduce violence and save lives."
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Click here to find resources for victims of violence in Philadelphia.