By TASSANEE VEJPONGSA and RON TODD – The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 40-year-old man killed a man in a home before shooting four others on the streets of a Philadelphia neighborhood, then taking off in an alleyway with an assault rifle, a pistol, additional After that he surrendered before the police officers. Magazines, a police scanner and a bulletproof vest, police said.
A 2-year-old boy and a 13-year-old child were also injured in Monday night’s violence, making the working-class area of Kingessing the site of the country’s worst violence. Fourth of July holiday.
Police called to the scene found the gunshot victims and began helping them before more gunshots were heard. Some officers transported victims to hospitals, while others ran toward the shooting and chased the suspect who fired. Police Commissioner Daniel Outlaw told a news conference that officers eventually arrested the assailant in an alleyway. The shooter had no relationship with the victims prior to the shooting, he said.
“On what was supposed to be a beautiful summer evening, this armed and armored man went on a rampage, firing his rifle indiscriminately at his victims,” he said Tuesday afternoon.
Homicide Unit Commander, Staff Inspector Ernest Ransom, said eyewitness interviews and video indicated the suspect carried an AR-15-style rifle in a ski mask and body armor to multiple locations.
“The suspect began firing aimlessly at vehicles and persons moving on the road,” he said. The vehicles included a mother who was taking her 2-year-old twins home, and one was injured in the leg and another had eyes from broken glass.
Philadelphia police on Tuesday afternoon identified the victims as 20-year-old Lashid Merritt, 29-year-old Dimir Stanton, 59-year-old Ralph Moralis and 15-year-old Dauzon Brown, all of whom were pronounced dead shortly after Monday night’s shooting. , And 31-year-old Joseph Wamah Jr., who was found in a home early Tuesday, also had multiple gunshot wounds.
Ransom said investigators believed Wamah was the first victim killed, but family members did not find him until hours later.
A 2-year-old boy who was shot four times in the legs and a 13-year-old boy who was shot twice in the legs are in stable condition, as are a 2-year-old boy and a 33-year-old woman. glass.
Police said the suspect is believed to have acted alone and there is no reason to believe anyone else was involved. Police and prosecutors said no charges were planned at this point against the second person taken into custody, who is believed to have obtained a gun from somewhere and fired back at the shooter.
“When you’re caught in a mass shooting, you have the right to protect others and the right to defend yourself,” said District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Officials asked for patience while they investigate every aspect of the shooting. In that investigation, Outlaw said, “there’s a ‘why’ involved.”
Krasner said the suspect will face multiple counts of murder as well as aggravated assault and weapons charges and is expected to be denied bail.
Outlaw praised the bravery of the officers who attended to the victims and transported them to hospitals, while others “ran fearlessly toward the sound of gunfire” and apprehended the suspect.
“Their swift action undoubtedly saved additional lives,” he added.
over the holiday weekend block party in baltimoreAbout 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Philadelphia, a shooting killed two people and injured 28 others. Officials said more than half of the victims were 18 years old or younger.
About four hours after the Philadelphia shooting, three people were killed and eight were injured in a shooting at a neighborhood festival in Fort Worth, Texas.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney reiterated his oft-stated call to “do something about America’s gun problem”.
“A man walking down a city street with an AR-style rifle and firing randomly at people wearing a bulletproof vest with multiple magazines is an outrageous but very common situation in America,” Kenney said. ” “I was in Independence Hall today where they wrote that Constitution, and the Second Amendment was never intended to protect it.”
Krasner said the morning after the shootings, he saw “completely empty streets” in the traumatized neighborhood on an otherwise beautiful morning.
“I saw every veranda empty. I saw every door closed. I looked at every screen where the curtain was drawn. I didn’t see any kids playing,” he said, describing a bicycle left on a corner, apparently untouched for 12 or more hours, “as if everyone understood that what happened here was so Terrible that for now it’s a desert, and for now everything that we associate with celebrating the Fourth of July is closed.”
Tim Eads said Monday night he heard fireworks, then gunshots, and saw police cars “flying by”. His wife was on the second floor “looking out the window and saw that the shooter was actually coming up this street behind me.”
Edds saw another man with a pistol, he said, who may have been firing at the shooter.
Eads said, “He was using my car as a shield for shooting in the street.”
A resident named Roger, who declined to give his last name, said he and his family were eating dinner in the living room around 8:30 p.m. when they heard eight to 10 gunshots.
He said, “Everyone thought it was fireworks but… I’ve been here for about three years so I’ve heard it a lot.” “I looked out the window and saw a group of people running away.”
He said he heard four more shots and “thought it was over.” Ten minutes later, he said, the police came “flying in here”, and about five minutes later he heard rapid gunfire right outside the house.
The Philadelphia violence could be the nation’s 29th mass murder in 2023, according to one database Maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University, the highest on record for this time in the year.
The death toll in such incidents is also the highest for this time of the year.
According to the database, there have been more than 550 mass killings since 2006, killing at least 2,900 and injuring at least 2,000.
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