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

The city has seen The 500th murder in 2021 is on Wednesday, matching the record set in 1990, according to police data. It’s an average of one murder every 16 hours this year.
In the video broadcast by CNN affiliate WPVI, two pedestrians are walking down the street around 4:30 p.m. ET as the 55-year-old woman runs toward them asking for help. One of the pedestrian bolts. A man enters the screen, chases the woman around an olive jeep, extends his weapon and fires five shots.

Three of them hit the woman in the chest. The alleged shooter was later seen walking down the street. The subsidiary stated that the woman was declared dead in hospital.

Police believe the incident is local, and are asking the shooter to turn himself in, Philadelphia Police Inspector DF Pace told WPVI.

“We can’t simply say that because the 500 is more special than any of the 499 that came before it,” Pace said. “Each is a life. Everyone has a family.”

The shooting came just days after another local incident that rocked the city. Jessica Covington, a 32-year-old pregnant woman, was shot in the head and at least 11 times in the abdomen as the mother unloaded gifts from her baby shower, police reported to CNN affiliate KYW.
“Please stop shooting each other. Please stop killing our community,” City Council Chairman Daryl Clark said at a news conference on Wednesday.

“There is a better way,” he said. “We put $155 million on the street with community groups, right? We have jobs available. We have comprehensive services available.” “The message is to all those who find themselves in a level of desperation where they believe there is no other way, or to find themselves in any mindset that would make you shoot a pregnant woman. Think about it man. Don we are not going to continue this activity because it is killing our communities.”

He described the scourge of murder in the city as “an unreasonable loss of life that is almost unaffordable”, Police Commissioner Daniel Outlaw stated to the community that there is a fixed reward of $20,000 for information leading to arrests and convictions in any murder.

She acknowledged that although homicides have been on a downward trend since the beginning of the year, violence remains unacceptable.

“These victims are much more than a number,” she said. “It’s not about when we get to 200, 300, 500, 600. These are people. These victims are brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, nieces, sons, educators, team members, colleagues, many of them children. Their lives were tragically cut short, their lives left a void in the hearts of their families and their absence left a profound impact on our society.”

Mayor Jim Kenny said in a statement that the numbers are a microcosm of a “disturbing trend nationwide,” noting the city’s investment of millions of dollars to reduce violence.
Homicide numbers in the United States continued to rise in the first three quarters of 2021, but at a slower pace, one year after the record increase in homicides following the killing of George Floyd, according to the Criminal Justice Council.
The surge in violent crime came as the COVID-19 pandemic spread in the country, and millions of people protested racial injustice, police brutality and the collapse of the economy under the weight of the pandemic.

Kenny said Philadelphia police are working to target “specific networks in multiple areas” and are on track to remove 6,000 firearms from the streets, a 40% increase from 2019.

But council member Kenyatta Johnson noted in a statement that the city is also on track, with 550 murders and 2,300 shooting victims.

“Quite simply, members of our community are drowning, and we have no life preservers to look at,” he said. “This is a crisis of epic proportions. It is a moral crisis. It is an economic crisis. It is a crisis of racial justice. It is a humanitarian crisis. It is time to act boldly and urgently.”

CNN’s Joe Sutton contributed to this report.


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