Philadelphia police investigating first two murders of 2023

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Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Philadelphia police investigating first two murders of 2023
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It wasn't the sound of gunfire that woke up Hunting Park neighbors Tuesday morning, it was the aftermath of a shooting -- a loud crash at the corner of 9th Street and Roosevelt Boulevard.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The city of Philadelphia closed out 2022 with an 8 percent drop in homicides.

But just three days into 2023, Philadelphia police are already investigating two murders in a span of 12 hours.

It wasn't the sound of gunfire that woke up Hunting Park neighbors Tuesday morning, it was the aftermath -- a loud crash at the corner of 9th Street and Roosevelt Boulevard.

"I seen the cop over there and the car that was hit. They were there for a while but I didn't realize it was a homicide," said William Ayala of Hunting Park.

Philadelphia police say the city's first homicide of the year claimed the life of a 25-year-old man. Police say he was shot in the head while sitting in the front passenger seat of a car at 9th and Hunting Park Avenue around 2 a.m.

The driver, a 33-year-old man put the car in reverse to try and get away but crashed into two traffic light poles. He was injured while trying to escape from the wreckage.

"We believe he cut his hands while forcing his way out of the vehicle. We believe he cut his hands on the driver's door window," said Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Neighbors all along 9th Street have cameras monitoring the outside of their homes for protection, but none of them captured the crime.

"When I get in the house I don't even open the door because I know the times that we are living," said Isidoro Renta of Hunting Park.

Less than 12 hours later, the city's second homicide unfolded on the 3500 block of Germantown Avenue. Police say a 39-year-old man was fatally shot twice in the chest and stomach just before 1 a.m. As of right now, there are no known suspects or a motive.

"Everyone needs to come together in love, and the only love I know is from God," said Dwayne Brown of Hunting Park.

Police did get their hands on some video from the Hunting Park shooting, but there's no word on any suspects in that case either.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.

RELATED: Check the 6abc Neighborhood Safety Tracker