Police respond to violent night in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA - October 19, 2012

The guns started blazing at 5:00 p.m. Thursday night and didn't fall silent until 2:00 a.m. Friday. Two people were killed, seven injured.

In the last incident, at 2:00 a.m., a bullet grazed the head of a Wissinoming woman as she lay asleep in her bed.

"It felt like somebody punched you in the head, then someone set you on fire," said 61-year-old Theresa Williams.

Williams didn't want to appear on camera. She showed us the bullet hole in the wall. It went through a dresser and her mattress before grazing the side of her head.

"I put my hand on my head and I went, 'I think I've been shot.' Not knowing that anything came through the wall. There was blood over me. And I just put my hand back on my head and lay down on my pillow. Next thing I know the ambulance was there," she said.

Her friend Bonnie Fenster is helping to nurse Theresa through an illness. She was just getting ready for bed when the bullet hit.

"It was bad," she said. "I thought it was a gas explosion. That's how bad it was. It was so loud."

Moments earlier, Bonnie had been standing by the window. The bullet was fired from across the street during an armed robbery. Police have arrested two suspects.

It capped a violent night that started when two teens were shot on the 5200 block of North 15th Street in Logan. By the time it was over, two people were dead.

That includes a 26-year-old man shot to death on the 1700 block of North 24th Street in Strawberry Mansion, and a 23-year-old man shot to death at 54th and Ludlow in West Philadelphia.

The shootings were all unrelated in various parts of the city. The victims included at least two innocent bystanders.

In Northeast Philadelphia, a young couple and their 2-year-old toddler were in an alley on Mershon Street near Levick when two armed robbers grabbed the woman's purse. Her boyfriend struggled with the men and was shot in the leg.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says there's no explaining the sudden outburst of violence.

"We're doing what we can do. I think we're making some good progress. It's not enough. We need to continue to work to get community support and help and information. Folks out there know who these guys are. We need to be able to get them off the street. It's not going to cure itself. It's not going to stop on its own," he said.

Overall, shootings are down this year, but we are outpacing last year's homicide rate. So far this year we've had six more murders than at the same time last year.

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