Fatal incidents in Southwest Philadelphia renew gun violence concerns

Police said someone shot up a black car as it was heading into the Penrose Plaza in Eastwick on Sunday at about 8:30 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The latest homicides in the city include a couple of fatal incidents in Southwest Philadelphia. In one shooting in the Eastwick neighborhood, a man was killed and a pregnant woman was injured.

Police said someone shot up a black car as it was heading into the Penrose Plaza on Sunday at about 8:30 p.m.

A man was driving with a pregnant woman in the car, according to investigators.

RELATED: Shooting leaves man dead, pregnant woman seriously injured in Philadelphia

Investigators said they crashed in the parking lot of a Wendy's in the plaza after the initial shots were fired.

The driver got out and ran, but collapsed nearby, police said. He was then shot several more times in the head and torso as he was on the ground.

Police said the pregnant woman was rushed to the hospital where she and her unborn child were stabilized after she was shot in the back.

"The shootings that are taking place here in the city of Philadelphia, especially in Eastwick and Southwest Philadelphia which I represent, are totally unacceptable," said Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.

Johnson is chair of the special committee on gun violence, which heard testimony from city leaders this month on efforts to make neighborhoods safer.

"Too many young people have access to illegal guns," Johnson said.

The second act of violence also happened Sunday night in Southwest Philadelphia. Investigators said a man died after suffering a puncture wound to the neck around 10 p.m. at 62nd and Woodland Avenue after an argument. It's unclear at this time whether the man was shot or stabbed, police said.

Portions of North, West and Southwest Philadelphia are the hotspots for gun violence, according to data from the Office of the Controller.

For the first time since 1996, the city has had more than 400 homicides in back-to-back years.

Chantay Love is among those working around the clock to stop the violence.

Love is the president and co-founder of the nonprofit organization Every Murder is Real (EMIR). Founded more than two decades ago, the organization has been busier than ever working to aid the often unseen victims of gun violence.

"I think that the victims - as well as those who have caused harm need to be treated as well because we know that hurt people hurt people," said Love.

When it comes to a plan, Johnson said there have to be short and long-term goals.

"On a short-term perspective, we just have to figure out where these guns are coming from. Way too many illegal guns flooding the streets of Philadelphia," Johnson said. "Too many young people have access to illegal guns. In the long-term, we have to get to the root causes of why these young men are picking up guns in the first place."

As police and city leaders continue to try to narrow down exactly which efforts will work best when it comes to combating gun violence, they said they believe it will take a community effort to truly make a difference.

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