Authorities say the manager of a donut shop was shot and killed during an early morning robbery and a teenager was gunned down, two of four homicides in Philadelphia overnight as the city continues to grapple with a level of violence not seen in decades.
Police said a man accosted the 41-year-old woman as she was opening the shop in north Philadelphia's West Kensington neighborhood shortly before 5:30 a.m. Saturday. He pushed her inside at gunpoint, forced her to turn over money from the office, shot her in the head and fled, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hours later, police released surveillance video of the robbery and announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Shortly after 11:30 p.m. Friday in a different part of north Philadelphia, a man in his 20s was shot multiple times while sitting in a vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene minutes later; his name wasn't immediately released and the motive for the shooting wasn't immediately known.
In west Philadelphia shortly before 8:30 p.m. Friday, a 16-year-old youth was shot 13 times in the body and died minutes later at Presbyterian Hospital. A 39-year-old man hit in the leg in the same shooting was listed in stable condition.
Shortly before 6:30 p.m. Friday, again in West Kensington, a 25-year-old man was shot in the chest and died at about 7 p.m. at Temple University Hospital.
Violence even reached the tony Rittenhouse Square park in the center of the city, where shortly before 3:30 a.m. Saturday a man in his 50s was attacked and beaten during what police called a random attack. He was listed in extremely critical condition at a hospital. A man was arrested and identified by a witness, police said.
Several other people were wounded, some critically, in other shootings and stabbings around the city.
Police statistics indicate the number of homicides in Philadelphia are running more than 30% above the number at this time last year. In total in 2020, Philadelphia recorded 499 homicides — only one below the highest-in-six-decades 500 homicides that were recorded in 1990.
In March, Mayor Jim Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and other officials spoke of efforts to get illegal firearms off the streets, increase patrols and engage with community groups to work with young people to try to head off potential violence.
"We are all responsible for what goes on here," Outlaw said. "This is our community, and these are our children."
Kenney said 2021 "is on track to be the most violent year we've experienced in our lifetimes."
"It makes me absolutely sick to know so many Philadelphians have suffered these preventable deaths, and so many families and communities have been ripped apart in the wake of each loss," he said. "It's painfully clear that we must take new approaches."