48 hours of gun violence in Philadelphia leaves 7 dead, 12 hurt

PHILADELPHIA — Demitrius Moore, 15, finished his chores before walking out the door of his North Philadelphia home on Saturday afternoon, washing three loads of laundry for his mother and younger brothers before leaving to visit his father’s house.

Moore never made it. On the way, he was shot twice in the chest by a gunman who remained at large Monday, leaving Moore’s relatives wondering why he was gunned down and planning funeral arrangements for the teen they called “Man-man.”

“They shot my baby right in his heart,” Moore’s mother, Rasheida Quinn, said Monday, crying as a friend embraced her.

Philadelphia police released few details about Moore’s killing, which was part of a barrage of violence in the city over the weekend. In less than 48 hours, police said, seven people were killed and 12 others were wounded by gunfire, including a 44-year-old man shot in a hand and leg when he was robbed of $4, and an 18-month-old boy who suffered a graze wound to the head.

The violence spanned neighborhoods across the city and was particularly acute Sunday, when 10 people were killed or injured in less than 10 hours, police said.

The outburst pushed the city’s homicide total to 14 in the first 12 days of the year, police statistics show, the most killings this early in a year in five years.

Gun violence has continued to plague the city even as other violent crime tallies remain relatively low: 356 people were slain last year, the highest total since 2007, and more than 1,400 people were shot, the highest total since 2010.

Mayor Jim Kenney on Monday expressed frustration over what he called an “overwhelming weekend,” and over how many people can access guns, whether legally purchased or bought on the street.

“The guns are still the one part of this that we can’t control,” Kenney said after an unrelated news conference in Rhawnhurst, referring to the city’s inability under state law to enact its own gun regulations.

Police said the weekend’s incidents remained under investigation, and most had not yet resulted in arrests.

 

 

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