Surge of violence in Wilmington

August 19, 2009 2:53:23 PM PDT
Residents of Wilmington are trying to figure out what's behind the surge of violence in their city.There have been ten shootings in just four days.

On Tuesday, a shooting occurred near the 400 block of East 9th Street in broad daylight. An 18-year-old was shot in the shoulder around 3:30 p.m., reportedly by another teen who rode off on a bike.

A street surveillance camera was of no use, but as luck would have it city councilman Steven Martelli, who's also a former cop, was driving by and gave investigators a detailed account.

It's something, he says, neighbors wouldn't do.

"I truly don't get it. The strength of the community is in its numbers. Here's two or three folks who are destroying a neighborhood, while 40 ,50, 60 other folks sit by and don't take action," Martelli said.

But Erma Peterson understands why witnesses don't get involved after hearing what thugs in her niece's neighborhood had to say shortly after the 15-year-old was shot.

"They're saying snitches will get shot," she said.

Kyiesha Peterson was eating ice cream on her porch when an unknown teenager ran through her home, knocked her down and hurting her neck.

Then a bullet, meant for that fleeing teen, instead struck her in the head.

"I went upstairs and I had blood streaming down my face and that's when everybody started screaming," she said.

"If they want to shoot put them over there in Iraq. Let them go over there!" said grandmother Linda Rhodes.

Along with the shootings, police are also looking for a rapist who attacked a woman on West 8th Street.

You can get the latest crime statistics from the Philadelphia Police by CLICKING HERE for the force's crime data mapping site.


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