Shootings, homicides have doubled in Philadelphia's 22nd police district since last year

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many municipalities are witnessing a drastic decrease in crime during the pandemic. It seems criminals are obeying stay at home orders.

But such is not the case in one Philadelphia police district, where the crime statistics are truly alarming.

On the evening of March 30, five people were shot on the 2300 block of West Harold Street in North Philadelphia. One of the wounded was a 2-year-old boy.

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Police are still working on that case, and according to statistics, the Philadelphia detectives have been busy this year.

As it stands now, shooting and homicide victims across the city are up this year compared to last. There have been 54 more shooting victims and 15 more homicides.

But what's especially alarming is the increase within the Philadelphia Police Department's 22nd district in North Philadelphia.

The numbers have more than doubled compared to this time last year.

There are nine more homicides and 31 more shooting victims.

The violence and guns was something addressed by the mayor on Thursday during his virtual news conference.

He said gun stores remaining open in the state during the pandemic represents an unfortunate part of our culture.

"I've always believed there are too many guns in this society. I didn't think gun shops were an essential business and it's the way this country is. I don't know if I'm going to be able to change the mindset of this entire nation on weapons," said Mayor Jim Kenney.

But officials say they're trying to combat this.

It's an effort lead by Anthony Murphy through the city's managing director's office.

It's about connecting with neighbors and making them connect with each other.

Murphy is the executive director for Town Watch Integrated Services.

"One of the things we do in Town Watch is get neighbors involved and addressing the quality of life issues in their community," said Murphy.

He says the coronavirus pandemic likely has something to do with this.

But for gun violence to truly stop, neighbors need to work together.

"Because then when you see the young man on the corner, and you know his mother, you know the father, then you know him and can speak to him and change how he'll react and respond to situations," Murphy said.
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