Philadelphia shooting that killed 5 may have been a random act of violence

The killing of five people in southwest Philadelphia on Monday night may have been an accidental act of violence, as opposed to a targeted shooting, according to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

“At first glance, this bears the characteristics of many random mass shootings that occur in the United States,” he said in an interview on 56th Street in the Kingkings neighborhood where the shooting took place, adding, “It is not It appears to be a whole bunch of people who know each other very well.

A heavily armed gunman wearing a bulletproof vest opened fire in a neighborhood on Monday evening, killing five people and injuring at least two others, police said.

Mr Krasner said law-enforcement officials were looking “very, very closely” at any connection between the suspect and his victims, or any connection between the victims.

Mr Krasner said he expected charges of multiple murder and weapons offenses to be filed against the suspected shooter in the next 24 hours.

Police said the dead were all males, aged between 15 and 59 years old, and two children aged between 2 and 13 were also hospitalized and in stable condition.

A male suspect was taken into custody by police just before 8:40 p.m., and officials said they recovered a semiautomatic rifle, a handgun and another gun in an alley behind the 1600 block of South Frazier Street.

Police Commissioner Daniel M. Outlaw said at a press conference late Monday that a second person was also in custody who police believe “raised a gun and fired in the direction of the shooter”.

He said police officers on foot arrested the suspect in an alley. The suspect was wearing a bulletproof vest with “multiple magazines” and was carrying an AR-style rifle, a handgun, and a police scanner.

Commissioner Outlaw said he did not know whether the gunman was firing a handgun or a rifle, but said he was still “actively shooting” when he was taken into custody.

“Thank God our officers reacted quickly,” he added. “I cannot even describe the level of bravery and courage that was shown.”

The commissioner said that about 50 kiosks were found at the crime scene, which covered a two-by-four-block area.

State Representative Joanna McClinton, who represents the Kingessing neighborhood in the Pennsylvania House, said the shooting was a stark reminder to state lawmakers that they should allow Philadelphia to set its own gun laws.

“It’s a reminder that assault weapons shouldn’t be available for anyone to buy, they’re for the military,” he said.

In recent years, Philadelphia has been plagued by gun violence, with more fatal shootings than larger cities. But in 2023 there have been 212 murders so far Downfall 19 percent by 2022, according to the Comptroller’s Office.

The city government has launched several efforts to deal with the crisis, including grants to community groups, violence intervention program and earlier curfews. and it is sued gun-friendly state legislature To preempt his right to enact stronger local gun laws, such as reporting requirements for lost or stolen guns.

But the sheer number of guns in the city has made tackling the problem difficult.

Emma Hilton, 70, who lives on 56th Street where the shots were fired, said it was the third time she had experienced a shooting in 11 years of living in the neighborhood.

“I’m getting ready to leave,” she said on her front porch, a few feet from where the police commissioner gave his statement to reporters. “It’s very bad here.”

The shooting was the latest of at least 343 incidents across the country this year in which four or more people were injured or killed. According to Gun Violence Archive, the organization has documented more than 600 mass shootings in the United States each of the past three years.

Amy Harmon Contributed reporting.

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