30 people shot over Fourth of July weekend; 7 dead, including child, teen


UPDATED: 4:41 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Over the course of just 48 hours in Philadelphia this past Fourth of July weekend, 30 people were shot. Sunday was the deadliest day so far this year: Seven people were killed, including a 6-year-old and a 15-year-old.

In the Northeast around 1 p.m., a 6-year-old boy was inside a house along Kendrick Street, near Torresdale Avenue, with two other children. Suddenly, a gun went off, striking the child in the chest, according to police.  

Authorities are trying to sort out who shot the child. One of the adults in the house rushed the boy to the hospital, where he later died.  

Across town in West Philadelphia, around 8:30 p.m., a 15-year-old was among three people gunned down along Nassau Road near 61st Street. The teen, identified as Angelo Walker, was shot several times in the head and killed. The other men who were gunned down — 35 and 36 years old, respectively — are still hospitalized.

Over in Kensington, a 37-year-old woman, later identified as Desiree Shafer-Perez, was shot 12 times in the torso and killed along Clarence Street near Jasper Street.

Another child was shot in a separate incident in Southwest Philadelphia. The 11-year-old suffered a graze wound to the hip near John Bartram High School around 5 p.m. Sunday.

The 30 people shot over the weekend range demographically: men and women; children and adults; Black, white and Hispanic people. 

Thus far this year, Philadelphia’s homicide victim toll stands at 211 — almost 30% higher than this time last year.

Mayor Jim Kenney said on Twitter: “This weekend is a stark reminder that COVID-19 isn’t our only crisis. Gun violence continues to traumatize our communities and cut lives short.”

My heart breaks for their loved ones. I extend my deepest sympathies as they process this unimaginable loss. The @PhillyPolice Department is conducting thorough investigations; I urge the public to report anything that can help. The anonymous tip line is 215-686-TIPS.

— Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) July 6, 2020

“We are juggling an unprecedented situation,” the mayor said Monday. “We have a pandemic, we have righteous civil unrest and protests for a month, and we have so many police officers, and we try to assign them the best place we can. 

“People get (guns) too quickly,” he continued. “It’s easier to get a gun in this country than to get a driver’s license or a library card, so as long as we have that dynamic, we are going to continue to have this crisis.”

There have been about 900 shootings in Philadelphia since the beginning of the year.

City Council President Darrell Clarke said the city is on track to reach its highest homicide total since 2007.

Council is now preparing a lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania “for its utter lack of action in enacting stronger gun laws to protect Philadelphians from gun violence,” Clarke said in a statement.

“We need to reduce poverty and the disparities revealed by the pandemic, and we also need people to put the guns down. There is no amount of despair or lack of hope that can ever justify shooting another human being or the taking of his or her life.”