Recent crime along Kelly Drive in Philadelphia has residents on edge

Some people said they are frustrated that they can't enjoy a day by the river without having to worry about gun violence.

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Sunday, July 17, 2022
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Crime on Kelly Drive is becoming more and more common, with Philadelphia police cruisers frequently seen lining up along the Schuylkill River.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Crime on Kelly Drive is becoming more and more common, with Philadelphia police cruisers frequently seen lining up along the Schuylkill River.

Recent crimes include a string of carjackings and, most recently, a homicide investigation.

Just after 6 a.m. Saturday, on the 2400 block of Kelly Drive, police say a 31-year-old man was fatally shot once in the back of his head.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say no arrests have been made and no weapon has been recovered.

The investigation is ongoing and active with homicide detectives.

Action News spoke with people who say they are frustrated they can't come here to enjoy a peaceful day by the river without having to worry about gun violence.

"The place that I used to love to come to is not as safe as it was before," said Jeffrey Johnson, from West Philadelphia.

All of this comes after a number of recent carjackings. Central Detectives with the Philadelphia Police Department are investigating five gunpoint carjackings along Kelly Drive from June 27 to July 15.

Police say on June 27, around 12:30 a.m., on the 2300 block of Kelly Drive at Ashwin Trail, a 33-year-old man was sitting on a bench when a silver SUV pulled up to him.

Two men got out of the SUV, armed with handguns, and demanded the man's belongings, according to police. The men took the man's gun and fled in his vehicle followed by the silver SUV.

The vehicle was tracked and recovered on the 2300 block of Gratz Street. The man is still missing his other firearm, from his car and a bulletproof vest.

Also on June 27, around 9:45 p.m., police say a 37-year-old woman was sitting in her car on the 900 block of Kelly Drive with a man near Boathouse Row when another man exited a white SUV armed with a handgun and ordered the woman out of the vehicle.

Police say the man punched the woman in her face and fled in her vehicle followed by the white SUV. The vehicle was found on the 2200 block of N. Gratz Street.

Then, at around 10:20 p.m. on June 29, police say a 22-year-old woman stopped to use the restroom on the 1500 block of Kelly Drive.

Police say as she was getting out of her car, a 2022 Kia K5, a man armed with a handgun threw her to the ground and fled in her vehicle followed by a gray SUV, that he got out of before the robbery.

On July 10, around 12:15 a.m., on the 1100 block of Kelly Drive, two 20-year-old men told police that when they returned to their vehicle after a walk on Kelly Drive, they observed a dark-colored SUV parked next to them.

The men stated a man and woman get out of the SUV armed with handguns and demand their belongings. One of the men threw his car keys in the river. The men took one man's bookbag and fled in the dark SUV. No vehicle was taken.

Police say on July 15, around 3:45 p.m., on the 800 block of Lemon Hill Drive, a 69-year-old man was standing outside his vehicle when he was approached by two men armed with handguns who had just gotten out of a silver Ford Explorer with a paper tag.

Police say cash was taken out of the man's pocket. The man told police he was forced to the ground, and the men demanded his car keys.

The man told the robbers that the keys were in the car. One of the men then fled in the man's car, a 2018 Audi Q7, followed by the other man in the silver Ford Explorer.