The murder of Alisa Canty, like so many others in Philadelphia, was an act of cowardice sparked by the misguided street subculture.
At the publishing of this story the investigation continues into the deadly shooting that left the 31-year-old mother dead and her 5-year-old daughter wounded. Police are hunting for the gunmen who left the 7300 block of Theodore Street littered with shell casings, and officials say they know who they’re looking for although the names of the suspects haven’t been released yet.
“We know she wasn’t the intended target, her ex-boyfriend was,” said Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross of the Philadelphia Police Department.
“We have some very good direction in this case,” said Capt. James Clark of the Homicide Unit. “I would say we’ll be making arrests very soon. The ex-boyfriend has got some baggage; he is known to us, and the shooting happened as a result of his criminal past. As far as we know, she wasn’t involved at all. We got a lot of anonymous calls on this case.”
The shooting happened Tuesday afternoon just after 4 p.m. in the 7300 block of Theodore Street, in the city’s 12th Police District. Canty was in the vicinity picking up her ex-boyfriend, Rashid Woods, 20, to take him back to the halfway house where he had been staying. Canty’s 5-year-old daughter was in the backseat of the vehicle. Woods, who was recently released from prison, is also the father of Canty’s 18-month-old twins who were not present at the time. He was sitting in the front passenger seat with Canty in the driver’s seat, the engine still running.
Investigators said at that moment, two gunmen walked up to the car and started shooting. Canty was struck in the arm and chest. He daughter was grazed by gunfire in the back of her head. Woods jumped out of the car and fled the scene. He was unhurt by the gunfire. Police recovered 23 shell casings and other ballistic evidence from the scene and also recovered a small bag of heroin near Canty’s vehicle.
As of Tribune press time, Woods has not been charged with anything and the 5-year-old daughter was treated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and released.
“I spoke with the detectives on the case and they’ve got some very good direction regarding who did this,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. “Right now it’s just a matter of having enough evidence before we can go to the district attorney and file charges — but we’re confident we’re going to bring this one in, we’ve got some pretty good direction on who did it. It definitely looks as though the victim was not the intended target, her boyfriend was. He’s someone who was involved with drugs and unfortunately she was killed because of it; they were shooting at him and wound up killing her. We recovered 23 shell casings from the scene and other ballistic evidence from two different guns; one of them was a .9mm. There’s also evidence that the boyfriend was armed; there was at least one return round fired. We found some heroin near the back of the vehicle which we assume was his.”
City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson was in the vicinity Wednesday night, along with police officers who were speaking with local residents. Johnson was in the neighborhood speaking with neighbors about the importance of community involvement in helping police arrest violent criminals.
“Enough is enough, these violent incidents must stop,” Johnson said. “This is about the quality of life for the residents of Southwest Philadelphia. I am committed to stand with the citizens to bring attention to these acts of senseless violence.”
Johnson said he plans to hold a City Council hearing to examine the city’s comprehensive strategy on gun violence and its effect on Philadelphians from a public health perspective.