Shooting leaves Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood in fear

May 16, 2013 8:31:05 PM PDT
Two innocent victims remained hospitalized Thursday night after being caught in the crossfire of a shooting in Southwest Philadelphia.

Police now say 32 shots were fired, up from 27, in what was a fierce gun battle.

The community is living in a climate of fear, though police have beefed up patrols.

Bullet holes on cars and sidewalks mark the ravages of the gun battle that broke out on the corner of Daggett and Dicks about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Even in broad daylight, as we approached residents to talk about what happened on their block, they scurried inside their homes.

"People are scared. I mean obviously they live in that community and they feel that if they talk to the media, talk to police, they may be harmed in some way," Philadelphia Police Lt. Johnny Walker said.

That fear didn't seemed to be alleviated by a beefed up police presence in the neighborhood.

Police continue to search for three gunmen in dark hoodies who targeted a 19-year-old male who remains hospitalized and unable to talk to police.

There were also two unintended victims.

They include a 27-year-old woman who after hearing all the shots decided to look out her second floor bedroom window to see what was happening.

"She looks out the window, there are shots being fired, she gets hit in the head. She was scheduled to be released today but she has complications and she's being held here at the hospital," Walker said.

Another victim was a 41-year-old man who was out smoking a cigarette and enjoying the night.

"He says he just hears a bunch of shots and he feels himself being struck," Walker said.

In reality, last night's shootout is the latest in a long history of violence in the 12th police district and the consequence has made even those residents who were not shot last night victims as well.

"You shouldn't have to live in fear. We always ask people to be aware of your environment, live, but you shouldn't be living as prisoners in your own home, in your own neighborhood," Walker said.

Tonight, both gunshot victims have been upgraded from critical to good condition.

Police say a fourth victim, originally believed to be connected with the shooting, has no involvement.

Police are trying to scour surveillance video and are asking for tips from the public that may help lead to the suspects.