Philadelphia homicides soar after 7 killed, including teen, in violent day

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Gun violence across Philadelphia left seven people, including a 15-year-old boy, dead on Monday, Philadephia police told Fox News in an email, as homicides in the city continue to soar.

The murders brought the city’s homicide count to 62 for the year, according to the department’s crime statistics, showing a sharp rise over the 40 homicides recorded up to the same date last year. It was a 55% increase in homicides compared to 2018 during the same 39-day period.

“Narcotics are driving a lot of these shootings and some of these homicides,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw told reporters at a press conference Tuesday.

Outlaw said that the department has made some progress in reducing homicides and getting guns off the streets by bolstering the number of officers on the ground.

“We’re gaining some good ground,” Outlaw said. “Before yesterday we were able to proudly say that we had a significant reduction week-to-week in our shootings and homicides. And then yesterday happened and look where we are today.”

Outlaw said that “it’s still really early in the year but at any given time it can change.”

The shooting of the 15-year-old happened in South Philadelphia on the 2900 block of Morris Street, FOX29 Philadelphia reported. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police Captain Jason Smith told reporters that detectives believe the shooting was a case of mistaken identity.

Police said three suspects opened fire on the teen, who was in a backyard with friends and family around 7 p.m., WPVI-TV reported. The barrage of 16 bullets struck the boy multiple times, with some penetrating the home.

The other homicides that occurred throughout the city included a woman shot to death in Olney, two men found shot inside a home in Kensington, and a 54-year-old woman found shot dead in her office at the United Peers Recovery Center in East Falls, FOX29 reported.

A suspect was in custody in connection to the shooting of the 54-year-old woman, Smith said.

A man and a woman, both 24, were also found dead with gunshot wounds inside a home, police told local news stations. The man was found in a bed beside a 5-year-old child who was unharmed.

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Police are continuing to investigate the shootings.

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