Chester state of emergency lifted, shooting follows

July 23, 2010 4:41:43 PM PDT
The state of emergency for the city of Chester expired on Friday morning, and the mayor said there were no plans to reinstate it.

However, just hours after the announcement, another shooting was reported.

The shooting took place shortly before 1:00 p.m. at West Union and Pennell Streets. Police say a 27-year-old man was shot once in the back.

He is currently listed in critical condition.

Prior to today, Chester had been under a virtual lockdown after dark, with a curfew for everyone from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

That curfew has been lifted for adults, but will remain in effect for teens age 17 and under.

Under the order, people were not allowed to gather in groups of more than three and police stepped up patrols.

The emergency was declared following an explosion of violence after 4 people were murdered in the city within an eight day span.

Officials with the city held a news conference on Friday morning, saying the state of emergency helped reduce the amount of serious crime.

Mayor Wendell Butler said it was now time to see if the state of emergency had been a cure, or a temporary masking of the symptoms.

"It proved to be an effective measure that provided a wealth of calm in the city and helped to curtail the corner-lounging, the loitering, the open drug sales, the drive-by shootings and the disorderly group complaints," said Mayor Wendell Butler.

Delaware County District Attorney said, for things to continue to improve, the law-abiding citizens of Chester must also play their part.

"When they know something about a criminal act that they step forward and do the right thing and tell the truth about it and testify about it in the courtrooms," said Green.

On August 7th, the city will sponsor a gun buyout program in which those who turn in guns will be given a $100 voucher to the Essington Shop-Rite store.