‘This is not normal’: Mayor Parker promises help after Kingsessing mass shooting leaves 1 dead, 8 others injured

The incident apparently took place at a pop-up event advertised on social media.

Cherelle Parker speaking into a microphone

Mayor Cherelle Parker addressing the media following the mass shooting in Kingsessing on July 4. (6abc)

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Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker traveled to Southwest Philadelphia and joined other city leaders at the scene of a mass shooting in Philadelphia’s Kingsessing neighborhood.

Nine people were shot in the area Thursday night, one of them fatally.

Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said the shooting was likely the result of a roving pop-up gathering that started in North Philadelphia. Police shut down the gathering, but it moved to Kingsessing, where the mass shooting eventually happened.

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“We have made some significant progress in identifying some vehicle that was involved, and we’re working through that process with our detectives now, but let me make it clear: one of the challenges that we’re dealing with, as the mayor indicated, is these pop-up events.”

Parker said even though this is the second mass shooting in the neighborhood in just over a year, they will fight to stop the violence.

“This is not normal, and we won’t tolerate it. We’re going to use every resource that we can to address it, and that means our intergovernmental partners both at the local, the state, and the federal level,” Parker said.

The incident apparently happened at a pop-up event, advertised on social media that created a major gathering in a short period of time. Bethel said nothing good comes out of the last-minute parties, and the city will work to prevent similar gatherings in the future.

“We’re going to move into much more of an enforcement posture as our juveniles surge across the city. We’re going to work with parents and community members to do that,” he said. “Many of the kids and most of the individuals shot were not from this area.”

Bethel warned parents that the pop-up events are dangerous.

“If your child is going to a pop-up, there’s a strong likelihood there’s something negative with that converging behavior. We learned that from our flash mobs, when young people get together and they have nothing [to do] other than getting together, then oftentimes, negative things stem from that,” Bethel said.

A year ago, on July 3, 2023, four people were killed in Kingsessing: 20-year-old Lashyd Merritt, 29-year-old Dymir Stanton, 59-year-old Ralph Moralis and 15-year-old Da’Juan Brown. An errant dispatch by 911 operators delayed the discovery of the body of another victim, 31-year-old Joseph Wamah Jr., who was shot days before in what marked the beginning of the incident.

The accused shooter, Kimbrady Carriker, was eventually cornered in an alley and arrested.

In the most recent incident, neighborhood leaders were happy to see the mayor, police commissioner and other city officials come out about 12 hours after the incident to reassure them that the city is working on the problem.

Officials said they are working to offer more recreational activities and other efforts to curb the violence and will help with cleanup and repairs from this incident.

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