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Top Philadelphia Officials Divided As Leaders Face Claims Of Lawlessness Following South Street Mass Shooting

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia Police department has released these side-by-side images of two people who they are identifying as persons of interest in connection with Saturday night's mass shooting on South Street.

Police have also released the mugshots of Quran Garner and Rashaan Vereen. The two alleged gunmen in the South Street mass shooting were arraigned Wednesday.

Meanwhile, authorities may be closing in on an alleged fourth shooter. Tips are pouring in.

Police are calling this shooter a person of interest, but say he was carrying and fired a 9-millimeter handgun Saturday night.

As city leaders face claims of lawlessness that allowed for something like this to happen, what is apparent is a lack of agreement on key issues of safety.

As police announced the search for a fourth shooter, one thing abundantly clear during the mayor's weekly safety briefing is the divide among top officials tasked with keeping our city safe.

"Anybody who fired a gun that day should be locked up. There was aggravated assault going on, there was other things going on. Again, the district attorney doesn't work for the mayor. The district attorney is independently elected and they make their own decisions," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.

The mayor was referring to Micah Townes, the man who the District Attorney's Office says fired in self-defense after two men -- one armed -- approached him Saturday night on South Street. The fight was the genesis of the contagious gunfire that left two bystanders and an alleged gunman dead and 12 others injured.

"The officers have to be smart as to what they enforce and how they pretty much manage to manage crowds that are disorderly," Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Joel Dales said.

Police officials, who have had to answer questions about staffing and if officers did enough to prevent this, say they had double the patrols leading into last weekend.

"Keep in mind that since after the George Floyd riots, things have changed as far as how people have a lack of respect for police officers," Dales said.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says her officers will have the city's support if they follow policy, speaking to the undercurrent of what's at stake.

"I think we would be very naive if we didn't publically acknowledge that there has been a chilling effect over the last couple of years in our ability to do our job without the level of scrutiny that we have seen," Outlaw said.

CBS3 reached out to the district attorney for comment following the mayor's remarks but we have yet to hear back.

Philadelphia police will be adding additional foot patrol and mounted officers this weekend along South Street.

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