In North Philadelphia on Monday, a 14-year-old was shot almost 20 times.
While waiting for a bus, Samir Jefferson was killed, KYW-TV reported.
“A vehicle, maybe two, pull up. Two males get out and start shooting at him, chasing him,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
Police officials reported that Jefferson was shot at least 18 times and died at Temple University Hospital.
Several dozen shots were fired in total. According to KYW, at least 35 shots were fired from two semi-automatic weapons.
When the police responded to 911 calls after the shots were heard, they found Jefferson.
“They find a teenage boy laying on the sidewalk. He’s shot many, many times,” Small said.
Philadelphia has seen a remarkable rise in crime and violence this year. More than 500 homicides have taken place in 2021, and there is still a month left in the year. This makes 2021, the deadliest year on record for Philadelphia, The Gazette reported.
“[T]he number of killings this year will be the highest since at least 1960, which is as far back as the Police Department said it kept statistics on homicides,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
To date, there have been 510 homicides in Philadelphia, which is a 12 percent increase from 2020, Philadelphia’s Office of the Controller reported.
As of Monday, there have been 1,684 nonfatal and 442 fatal shooting victims in Philadelphia.
However, despite the rise in violence, Philadelphia officials cannot seem to come to an agreement on how to handle the situation. The city’s district attorney and the police commissioner “just don’t agree,” the Inquirer reported.
“Fundamentally, there are very key disconnects there, as far as which crimes we prioritize, and who believes what are the main drivers of the violent crime that we’re seeing,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
In the meantime, however, police are looking into Jefferson’s shooting.
In response to Jefferson’s death, Outlaw released a statement.
“Earlier today, we lost another young life to senseless gun violence — the fourth since yesterday. My heart grieves for the victims, their families, and this city. While we cannot bring back those lost, the Philadelphia Police Department will ensure that these cases are fully investigated so that these victims and their families receive closure and justice,” Outlaw said, according to KYW.
The police are investigating Jefferson’s death, but there have been no charges issued yet, according to KYW. Police do believe the killing was targeted, and eyewitnesses and surveillance video have helped police find two persons of interest.
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