5 people killed, 2 children injured in mass shooting in Philly; suspect found in bulletproof vest
Five people were killed and two children were injured during a mass shooting on Monday night in the Kingsessing section of Philadelphia.
The suspected gunman, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was taken into custody, police say.
It all started around 8:30 p.m., on the eve of Independence Day, in the area of 56th Street and Chester Avenue in the southwestern part of the city.
Police say people called 911 to report a shooting and others flagged down officers.
Police say at least 50 shots were fired at the scene and multiple vehicles were struck.
Arriving officers found gunshot victims at the scene. As officers began to put the victims in their patrol cars to take them to the hospital, they heard more gunfire and ran towards the sound.
Police say officers were able to chase down and corner the 40-year-old male suspect.
His name has not been released.
“Our officers were able to apprehend the male in the rear alley of 1600 Frazier Street and when they did, this male was wearing a bulletproof vest with multiple magazines. He also had a (police) scanner, an AR-style rifle and a handgun,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
Police tell Action News that a total of seven people were shot during the melee as the gunman opened fire on the street. The total number of victims had changed overnight and into Tuesday morning as police gathered more information.
It was an emotional scene late Monday night outside Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, as family members of those who were killed found out the news that their loved ones had died.
Four of the five people killed ranged in age from 20 to 59 years old. One victim’s age has not been confirmed, though police believe the age could be between 16 to 19.
Police say a fifth victim wasn’t found until four hours after the shooting. They say a man returned home and found his 31-year-old son dead in the living room with multiple gunshot wounds.
“We believe because of where he was found and where his house is on 56th Street, and the fact that we found ballistic evidence that matches the ballistic evidence we found on the street a few hours earlier, we believe this homicide is related,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
The two injured children, ages 2 and 13, were taken to an area hospital where they were placed in stable condition.
Police say a second person was taken into custody for allegedly picking up a gun and firing shots at the mass shooting suspect.
The motive for the shooting is not yet known. It is also not clear if any of the victims are connected.
Family & Neighbors Speaks Out
Juliet Clarke tells Action News that her grandchild’s father was one of the victims.
“I just came to get my grandbaby and my daughter and take them to the hospital. I came back and my house is in a crime scene. I can’t even go into my house,” Clarke said. “I think the man just ran up and started shooting people that were outside. Imagine if it was the 4th and everybody’s out – it’s just not safe anywhere.”
A man, who did not want to go on camera, says he heard the incident unfolding and knew it wasn’t the sound of fireworks.
“I heard shots. I heard like 30 shots. And then the second I had a discussion with somebody, we heard about 20 more shots,” the neighbor said.