Monday marks the start of National Crime Victims Rights week in Philadelphia with events planned throughout the week. Meanwhile, the city’s gun violence shows no signs of abating.
The City experienced record-breaking gun violence deaths in 2021 – 562 people were killed by firearms and about 2,000 were injured. More than 150 people have died so far this year.
In addition to those killed and physically injured, the violence traumatizes hundreds more residents, including witnesses, friends, and families. Philadelphia District Attorney’s Victim Support Services executive director Myra Maxwell says the victim’s rights movement needs to ensure equity and inclusion.
“We want to make sure we are looking at people as individuals,” said Maxwell during a press conference at the Church of Christian Compassion in West Philadelphia on Monday. “There are no cookie-cutter [approaches] here, every person’s journey is their individual journey and we want to ensure that we are supporting them through that journey.”
Ten people were killed by firearms this past week. In that same period, another 27 people were shot but survived.
District Attorney Larry Krasner says last week’s violence typifies what the city has seen since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 – about one-and-a-half homicides a day.
“So sadly it is about average for that terrible period of time in this gun violence crisis,” Krasner said.
Temple University Hospital says its emergency department experienced a 90% jump in gunshot victims over the last five years.