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Philadelphia Leaders Hoping New Gun Buyback Program Leads To Less Crime, Violence

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Investigators are trying to find the suspect who shot and killed a man right on his own doorstep. City officials are hoping a new gun buyback program will result in less violence like this in Philadelphia.

Chilling surveillance video was just released of a Feb. 15 gunpoint robbery in the 4000 block of Creston Street. Two men went to a home, one clearly seen knocking before forcing his way inside with a handgun.

homicide suspect
Credit: Philly police

The suspect fires several shots, killing the man at the door. It's an up-close, disturbing image of a gun violence epidemic plaguing Philadelphia.

"We believe, sincerely, that every gun that can be taken off of the streets of the city of Philadelphia is a good thing," City Councilman Curtis Jones said.

City councilmembers, along with Philadelphia Police and anti-gun violence activists, announced the latest gun buyback program aimed at getting more guns off the streets.

"Thus far we've collected over 200 weapons in the two attempts that we've done it," Jones said.

Two gun buyback programs will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church and Mt. Airy Church of God. One-hundred dollar gift cards for groceries will be used as an incentive to turn in working handguns safely and confidentially.

"We're using groceries for guns and gift certificates at ShopRite to be able to put food on people's tables as opposed to people in graves," Jones said.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says these types of gun buyback programs are effective in denting the number of weapons on city streets.

"Gun buyback programs such as these provide an opportunity for those in the neighborhood to meet with their local officers in a pressure-free environment," Outlaw said.

Police are also ramping up their efforts on the ground, with more officers in hot-spot crime areas and monitoring social media.

"It's equating to a lot more boots on the ground, it's equating to more domestic violence awareness and preparedness as well, because a lot of these shootings and homicides have been pushed indoors because of the pandemic," Outlaw said.

So far, Philadelphia Police have taken 837 guns off the streets. More than 5,000 were removed last year.

It's an exhausting effort that includes City Council, community activists and residents who want this kind of violence to stop.

For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.

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