Amid a historic surge in shootings and homicides, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw called on residents to help the department quell the violence by being “proactive” and “vigilant.”
“The duty to protect these children belongs to all of us,” said Outlaw in a statement released Wednesday morning, in which she also claimed the department “is doing everything possible to curb gun violence in the city.”
Outlaw’s remarks come less than 24 hours after two 15-year-olds were shot, one fatally. It also comes as anti-violence activists have ramped up the pressure on city officials, including Mayor Jim Kenney, to act with more urgency on the crisis, and as the police killings of Black people, including Walter Wallace Jr. in Philadelphia, continue to strain relationships between law enforcement and communities.
At approximately 6:56 p.m. on Tuesday, police responded to a home on the 5200 block of Pentridge Street in Southwest Philadelphia. There they found 15-year-old Antonio Walker suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his chest and arm.
Police transported Walker to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. He died less than an hour later.
No one has been arrested.
At approximately 3:30 a.m., a second 15-year-old was shot on the 7600 block of Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, said Outlaw. He was shot in the right knee, according to police.
The teen, who was not identified, was transported to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital and is listed in stable condition.
“But we cannot ignore the physical and emotional trauma that this juvenile and his family will have to endure for some time,” said Outlaw.
As of Tuesday, a total of 34 children age 17 and under have been shot in 2021, according to police. Eight of them died.
At least 92 people have been murdered so far this year, a 35% increase over the same time last year, the deadliest in three decades.
More than 330 people have been shot in 2021 compared to roughly 240 at the same time last year.
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