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Philadelphia hits grim record of 500 homicides as leaders stress the victims are more than numbers

The metropolis witnessed its five hundredth murder of 2021 on Wednesday, matching a record set in 1990, in accordance with police information. It’s a mean of about one murder each 16 hours this 12 months.
In the video aired by CNN affiliate WPVI, two pedestrians stroll down the road round 4:30 p.m ET as the 55-year-old girl runs towards them pleading for assist. One of the pedestrians bolts. A person enters the display, pursuing the girl round an olive Jeep, extends his weapon and fires 5 photographs.

Three of them hit the girl in the chest. The alleged shooter is seen later casually strolling down the road. The girl was pronounced lifeless at the hospital, the affiliate reported.

Police imagine the incident is home, and the shooter is being requested to show himself in, Philadelphia police Inspector D.F. Pace informed WPVI.

“We can’t simply say that because it’s the 500th it’s any more special than any of the 499 that preceded it. Each is a life. Each is a person who had family,” Pace mentioned.

The capturing got here simply days after one other suspected home incident rocked the metropolis. Jessica Covington, a 32-year-old pregnant girl, was shot in the head and a minimum of 11 instances in the stomach as the mother-to-be was unloading presents from her child bathe, police informed CNN affiliate KYW.
“Please stop shooting each other. Stop killing our community please,” City Council President Darrell Clarke mentioned at a Wednesday news convention.

“There is a better way. We just put $155 million on the street with community groups, right? We have jobs available. We have wraparound services available,” he mentioned. “The message is going out to all those that find themselves at the level of despair where they think it’s no other way, or to find themselves in whatever mindset it is that causes you to shoot a pregnant woman. Think about it, man. Don’t continue this activity because it is killing our communities.”

Calling the metropolis’s scourge of killings an “unconscionable loss of life that is almost too much to bear,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw reminded the neighborhood there’s a standing $20,000 reward for info resulting in arrests and convictions in any homicide.

She acknowledged that although homicides have been trending downward since the starting of the 12 months, the violence stays unacceptable.

“These victims are far more than a number,” she mentioned. “It’s not about when we reach 200, 300, 500, 600. These are people. These victims are brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, nieces, nephews, mentees, team members, classmates, many of them children. And for those whose lives have been tragically cut short, their life has left a void in the hearts of their families and their absence has left a profound impact on our community.”

The numbers are a microcosm of a “disturbing trend nationwide,” Mayor Jim Kenney mentioned in a press release, touting the metropolis’s hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in funding to curb the violence.
US murder numbers continued to rise in the first three quarters of 2021, however at a slower tempo, one 12 months after a record improve in murders that adopted George Floyd’s killing, in accordance with the Council on Criminal Justice.
The spike in violent crime got here as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the nation, hundreds of thousands of folks protested racial injustice and police brutality and the financial system collapsed below the weight of the pandemic.

Philadelphia police have been working to focus on “pinpoint grids in multiple districts” and are on monitor to take away 6,000 firearms from the road, a 40% improve from 2019, Kenney mentioned.

But Councilwoman Kenyatta Johnson identified in a press release the metropolis can be on monitor for 550 homicides and a couple of,300 capturing victims.

“Quite simply, our community members are drowning, and we do not have life preservers to go around,” he mentioned. “This is a crisis of epic proportions. It is a moral crisis. It is an economic crisis. It is a racial justice crisis. It is a human crisis. Now is the time to act, boldly and urgently.”

CNN’s Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

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