South Street shooting: 3 dead, 11 injured after shooting in Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Three people died and at least 11 others were injured in a shooting Saturday night on South Street in Philadelphia.

The gunfire erupted around 11:31 p.m. in the 400 block of South Street – a busy section of the city’s Queen Village neighborhood.

Authorities say officers assigned to the 200 block of South Street heard the first shots and responded quickly. Upon arrival, officers found multiple gunshot victims and an unknown man firing into a crowd of people, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said during a Sunday afternoon briefing.

A police officer drew his weapon and fired several times in the direction of the shooter. Police say the shooter fled but is believed to have been hit by the officer’s gunfire.

“It lasted a lot longer than I thought it would. At that point, you’re like, ‘what the hell is this?’ I knew it had to be gunshots. I must have heard 30 gunshots,” resident Frank Snyder said.

The victims

Outlaw said the dead were a 34-year-old man, a 27-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man. Investigators believe one of the three killed was involved in “a physical altercation” with another man, and those two began shooting at each other, both hit by gunfire and one killed, said Outlaw.

The other two people killed and a number of other shooting victims, ages 17 to 69, were thought to be innocent bystanders, Outlaw said. She called it a “dark day” for the city when scores of people enjoying a beautiful day fell victim to “horrific and unthinkable acts…at a very popular local and tourist hangout”.

“It is important that we bring justice to the victims, their families and our community,” she said.

Police say the woman was shot in the chest and pronounced dead at Jefferson University Hospital. The 22-year-old was shot in the back and later pronounced in Jefferson.

The 34-year-old was shot twice in the chest and twice in the stomach, police said. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital where he later died.

Police did not identify the victims, but AFT Pennsylvania, the union representing more than 36,000 educators, paraprofessionals, identified one of the men killed as Kris Minners – a sophomore resident counselor at Girard College and member of the Girard College Federation of Teachers.

“Our hearts are heavy today with the passing of Kris Minners, a resident counselor to the boys in second year at Girard College and member of our union, yet another victim of senseless gun violence. Our hearts go out to the family of Mr. Minners who woke up this morning missing someone at their breakfast table, his colleagues who will be friendless, and with his students who will be without a mentor and role model,” the union said in a statement.

Friends and relatives have also identified another of the deceased as 34-year-old Greg “Japan” Jackson. He was an avid skater at Millennium Skate World and well known in the boxing community.

Philadelphia police have identified the third victim as 27-year-old Alexis Quinn.

In search of suspects

At least two firearms were recovered from the scene and police inspector DF Pace said one had an extended magazine.

Police believe five firearms were used in the shooting. “Numerous” shell casings were found within blocks of the crime scene, authorities said.

Additionally, police are investigating several other shootings before and after, including a fatal one, to see if they could be linked.

No arrests have been made at this time. Officers are checking surveillance video to help them identify the shooters.

Police are still working to determine what led to the shootings.

The discharge officer is a three-and-a-half-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department. He is assigned to the 18th arrondissement. As per protocol, the officer was placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

“More than devastated”

Mayor Jim Kenney, who is in Reno, Nevada, at the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, released a statement Sunday morning saying he was “beyond devastated” by the shooting.

“I know this shooting has shaken many people in our community. The safety of our residents and visitors is our top priority. We cannot accept continued violence as a way of life in our country,” Kenney said. “Until we address the availability and ease of access to firearms, we will always be fighting an uphill battle.”

The victim speaks

The large number of casualties forced rescuers to transport them to three different hospitals, including Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Action News spoke with one of the survivors, Jon Johnson, outside the hospital on Sunday morning. He had been shot in the foot.

“You had a sick maniac, I don’t know who it was because I had my back turned and he started shooting everyone,” Johnson said. “Some people did, some didn’t. Me personally, I saw two people die right in front of my face.”

Strengthen resources

Outlaw said police plan to beef up resources Sunday night in that area, as well as in the nearby Penn’s Landing area along the Delaware River that separates Pennsylvania from New Jersey.

South Street is known for its entertainment venues and nightlife with many bars, restaurants and shops. Video posted on social media showed dozens of people strolling on the sidewalks and in the street, then fleeing when the gunshots rang out. Police were looking for CCTV footage of businesses in the area.

Mayor Kenney’s full statement:

“The events that unfolded last night on South Street are beyond devastating. Once again we see needlessly lost lives and injured people in another horrific, brazen and despicable act of gun violence. My heart is with the family, friends, loved ones of those lost or injured, and with all those affected by this terrible tragedy.

The police department is investigating this heinous crime to ensure those responsible are brought to justice. I urge anyone with information about this incident, or any other crime, to report it to 215-686-TIPS. Tips can be submitted anonymously. This is a complex and ongoing investigation and we will release more information about this incident as information becomes available.

Our city and our country have seen a sharp increase in gun violence in recent years. We have spent these years fighting this growing epidemic and doing everything in our power not only to stop it, but also to try to understand why the violence continues – it is senseless, unnecessary and deeply disturbing.

I know this shooting has shaken many people in our community. The safety of our residents and visitors is our top priority. We cannot accept continued violence as a way of life in our country. Until we address the availability and ease of access to firearms, we will always be fighting an uphill battle. As mayor, I will continue to fight to protect our communities and urge others to advocate for stronger laws that keep guns out of the hands of violent individuals.

The increase in gun violence we’ve seen across the country and here in Philadelphia not only makes me heartbroken, but angry. Our administration, in partnership with all of our local and federal law enforcement agencies, continues to work tirelessly to reduce violence and create safer communities. »

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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