Holy week did not slow down Philadelphia’s violent crime crisis as multiple shootings left 50 people were shot, nine of them fatally, in a violent easter weekend across the city. Among the victims were a three-year-old, who was shot in the hand, and a 13-year-old shot, who was shot in the leg, police said Saturday.
50 people shot in Philadelphia since Holy Thursday afternoon. Violent Easter weekend update: latest shooting officially mass shooting (4 or more people shot). @phillypolice learn a 4th person shot on Orkney Street tonight&driven to hospital before police arrived @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/hHRHObxbET
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) April 18, 2022
Since Thursday afternoon, there have been multiple shootings involving three or more victims. The latest occurred on Sunday evening when four men were shot, qualifying the incident as a “mass shooting”, which is a shooting that involves four or more people, according to FBI crime statistics. All four victims were transported to local hospitals and are reported to be in stable condition.
Of the abundance of shootings across Philadelphia over the weekend, the city recorded nine fatalities. Three people were shot and killed in the span of three hours while close to a dozen others were injured on Saturday night. Early Sunday morning, Philadelphia police officers responded to the 300 block of E Ontario Street, according to police. Authorities say an unidentified man in his 30’s was shot once in the lower back and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Despite the violent Easter Weekend, Philadelphia’s homicide rate is down 10% when compared with this time last year. The weekend’s numbers rival those of the mid-summer months, however, where warm weather leads to a spike in homicides.
Even if the current rate holds, Philadelphia is still on pace for more than 500 homicides. Before last year, the only time the city had reached this grisly benchmark was in 1990, during the height of the crack epidemic. The city recorded exactly 500 murders in 1990, but soared past that number in 2021 with 559 homicides.
Philadelphia has recorded a little under 600 shootings in 2022, representing close to a 2% increase from last year. So far in 2022, there have been 638 Violations of Uniform Firearms Act arrests (VUFA), well below the 949 at this date last year, which is a 33% decrease. In addition, the Philadelphia Police Department has seized 1,600 crime guns this year, and 134 privately made firearms or “ghost guns”, according to the Philadelphia Tribune.