Some are seeking solutions as violence continues in Philadelphia

"The big problems can be dealt with if you stay alive," said Mazzie Casher with Philly Truce App.

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Friday, October 22, 2021
Some are seeking solutions as violence continues in Philadelphia
There are those trying to figure out ways to stop the violence as shootings continue Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police are working to track down suspects in several shootings from Thursday night that ended in fatalities and injuries, as violence continues to make headlines in the city.

Mazzie Casher is never surprised to hear about violence in the city but instead of waiting for police or local leaders to find the solutions, he took action and created the Philly Truce App.

"You can protest, you can march and you can get some things changed but we who lay our heads in these neighborhoods where this stuff is going on, it is our job," said Casher.

His mobile app launched over the summer and was designed to encourage people to seek out trained mediators when potential conflicts arise.

"The big problems can be dealt with if you stay alive," said Mazzie Casher with Philly Truce App.

He says it's catching on and is working. Thousands have signed up.

Two childhood friends from North Philadelphia are launching a mobile app to stop violence before it's too late.

"We are trying to get them to understand that it is not snitching, it is helping, it is healing. We are not affiliated with the police. We are your neighbors, your brothers, your uncles and we are coming to you to say 'look, let us help you to help your loved one to make a different decision,'" said Casher.

Casher is hoping his app will help decrease violent scenes like the city witnessed on Thursday night. Three people died and several others were injured in five shootings.

Philadelphia continues to remain on pace for a record number of killings, but Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says there has been some success.

She says the agency's "Operation Pinpoint," which started in 2019, and centers on areas where violent crime is rampant is showing results.

"Several districts have seen double-digit decreases in homicides since the last year and six have seen double-digit decreases in non-fatal shootings," said Outlaw.

Other major cities are also dealing with out-of-control violence.

Our Action News Data Journalist discovered so far this year, there have been 445 homicides in Philadelphia, 382 in New York and 655 homicides in Chicago.

When it comes to shooting victims in our city, 175 are under the age of 18 - which is up nearly 20 percent from last year - while 908 are between the ages of 18 to 29, which is down 7 percent from last year.

There have been 123 shooting victims 50 and older.

"It is atrocious. It is out of control, said David Oh, Councilman-at-large.

He hears about violence almost on a daily basis.

"I am meeting about nine mothers who their children have been murdered. They have been threatened, sometimes because they cooperated with law enforcement," said Oh.

Oh is confident the city will eventually get a grip on the violence but says it's about community involvement; quality and visible policing; and good leadership.

Police are still searching for multiple suspects in Thursday night's incidents. Anyone with information on any of these shootings is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.