Philadelphia has reached a grim milestone, and could surpass the homicide toll of 2021 if things continue.
The city’s 300th homicide victim is an 18-year-old shot in West Philadelphia. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner admitted seeing the death toll hit 300 was “frustrating.”
“It is traumatic, not just for those directly affected, but for everybody who lives in the city, everybody who is indirectly affected,” he said. “We are all locally suffering through what is savage, heartbreaking, tragic. I mean, the fact that there are so many young people involved, and involved on both ends of the gun, is particularly heartbreaking.”
Krasner admits city residents are upset with the climbing homicide rate, which could exceed last year’s grim record of 562 killings.
“I do understand why people who are frightened and people who are concerned about their public safety rightly are frustrated with city leaders. But having said that, I don’t think it’s fair to say that our police commissioner is doing nothing. I think our police commissioner is doing a lot, and I think our police commissioner is doing a lot with our office after she came up with some ideas and we came up with some ideas, and we will continue to do that.”
At this time last year, the homicide number was at 304 killings. This year’s death rate is just 1% below 2021’s record setting pace.
Krasner said a good sign is that money is being spent on forensics, with $5 million in additional funding added in the most recent city budget. But that money is only a start. He said the city needs closer to $50 million to update labs and other tools forensic scientists need to solve hundreds of murders.
While the number of homicides continues to climb, Krasner said everyone is working on the situation, including Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and other city officials, with a unified goal and hopes that the violence can be slowed down as soon as possible.
If you or someone you know has been affected by gun violence in Philadelphia, you can find grief support and resources here.