What Do We Know About The Philadelphia Shooting?

by Jo Yurcaba

Two unidentified gunmen opened fire on a Philadelphia block party Saturday night, injuring seven people — three of them children, aged two and 10 years old and 11 months old, according to The New York Times. Lt. John Walker of the Philadelphia police told WCAU that the shooting occurred around 10 p.m. in west Philadelphia. He said it looked like the gunmen just randomly fired down the street and hit anyone in the way. So what else do we know about the Philadelphia shooters? Right now, unfortunately, we don't have very much information.

Witnesses in a Philadelphia police incident report noted "that two unknown black males had fired (at the crowd) with a shotgun at least once and then (drove) down the street in a gold or silver four door sedan and fired several more shots, possibly with a handgun," according to CNN. One suspect was described by witnesses as black, in his 20s with a beard and tattoos on one arm, wearing a yellow T-shirt and blue jeans, while the second was described as black and wearing dark blue jeans and a black shirt, according to The Chicago Tribune. The suspects allegedly fired two buckshot blasts from a shotgun at the roughly 50 people who were outside for the barbecue, according to Witnesses say the shooter fired from the street, but arrived and left in a car.

Walker said the 2-year-old was shot in the neck and both children were taken to the hospital in critical condition. Other victims have gunshot wounds to the leg and the face. The other victims range in age from 15 to 25 years old and were brought to the hospital in critical condition, according to the Times. Recent reports on Sunday from the Philadelphia police said all of the victims were in stable condition, according to CNN.

Walker described the incident as "just a terrible situation," but didn't say whether police were pursuing any leads or had any potential suspects in mind, according to CNN.

Shortly before the group was fired at, police found a 21-year-old man less than a mile away with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and head, according to the Tribune. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Police said the motive for the shooting is unknown, and so far there isn't any indication of whether it was connected to the block party shooting.

Twitter users have responded to this and another block party shooting in Detroit, Michigan, which took place just before 9 p.m., according to Mashable. In Detroit, one person was killed and nine others wounded Saturday night when someone opened fire at a block party on a Detroit basketball court.

Some social media users are asking what these victims should have or could have done to protect themselves, which are questions central to the national debate on gun control. The debate has only intensified after 21-year-old Dylann Roof allegedly opened fire in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people in what he told investigators was an effort to start a race war, according to CNN.

Police could release more information about the motive of the shooters in the two cases, but they probably won't be able to quell persistent questions surrounding gun safety across the country.

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