Six people were shot at a graduation party in a park in the Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood and one of them was killed, CBS Philly reports. It happened shortly after 10 p.m. on a dead end street.
A 24-year-old was shot in the back and died after being brought to a hospital, detectives said. In addition, a 21-year-old was hit in the elbow and a 15-year-old, 16-year-old and two 17-year-olds were hit in their legs. The slain man was later identified as Isiaka Meite, reports CBS Philly.
Earlier, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. said three men were spotted in a parking lot when one of them walked up to the celebration and began firing "indiscriminately" into the crowd of about 70 people. The gunman fired with a rifle about eight or nine times, reports CBS Philly. Police were working on descriptions of men and possible getaway car.
"What must it take, the lack of regard for life that you can fire multiple rounds in a crowd of at least 70 people?" Ross said during a Monday press conference. "I mean, how heartless must you be to pull the trigger that many times and hit that many people, knowing that's the likely outcome?"
There was no word on what prompted the shooting. There was no indication of any sort of trouble in the area beforehand, Ross said, adding that police were concerned about retaliation and planned to step up patrols. No arrests have been made.
The graduation party shooting came at the end of another bloody weekend in Philadelphia. It was among 23 shooting incidents affecting 32 victims since Friday night, something Ross called "very troubling." Six people were slain in the weekend violence, Ross said — one homicide involved a car, and five were gun-related. Another person died by suicide, Ross said.
Ross said the violence occurred largely outside of the troubled areas where the department is increasing patrols in an effort called "Operation Pinpoint." He said the department would work to shift resources and increase overtime hours Friday and Saturday nights. He cited retaliation and drug disputes as the motives for many of the shootings in the city, where homicides last year.
About 15 of the victims in the weekend violence had previous arrests on charges ranging from narcotics to gang allegations, Ross said. However, none of the graduation party victims had previous contact with the criminal justice system, he said.
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