Elderly woman hit by stray bullet

June 19, 2008 8:38:00 PM PDT
An elderly woman was wounded by a stray bullet that blasted through the wall of a West Philadelphia home Thursday night. 76-year-old Melvis Stephens was treated and released from Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for a gunshot wound through her right calf.

Stephens was sitting in the foyer of her sister's home in the 5300 block of Webster Street when a bullet tore right through a window ledge.

Police say it was one of several bullets fired by a man on a bicycle who was shooting at another man fleeing in an SUV.

The man in the SUV suffered a wound to the stomach. Meanwhile, the elderly woman's relatives and others were horrified over how she ended up getting shot.

"You're not even safe in your home, that's what comes to mind," Larry Mapp, the victim's nephew, said.

Police Inspector Tony Boyle of the Southwest Division said he understands the frustration, but urged residents to direct their anger and frustration to rid their neighborhoods of predators and drug dealers.

Some residents like Jackie Grant are calling on the police to make dramatic measures.

"We need a surge, as I told the officers, we would like a surge in our communities, all the money we spent in Iraq, you would think we would have money to do a surge," Grant said.