(PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA) — Five children, including a toddler, were wounded in two quadruple shootings that erupted overnight in Philadelphia, according to police.
At least three adults, including a woman believed to be the toddler’s mother, were critically injured in the shootings, authorities said.
The first shooting unfolded about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday in West Philadelphia, when at least one shooter opened fire on a Kia SUV occupied by two women and the two young children, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said during a news conference.
Small said 10 shots were fired at the parked vehicle, critically injuring the two women in the front seat and injuring the toddler, a 2-year-old boy, sitting next to his big brother in the backseat. He said the toddler was shot in the leg, while a woman in the driver’s seat, believed to be the child’s mother, was shot in the head and critically injured.
The other woman seated in the front passenger seat was also critically wounded, Small said. He said a 26-year-old man believed to have been standing outside the vehicle when the barrage of shots were fired was hit in the leg by a bullet and taken to a hospital in critical condition.
“In this Kia, in addition to the three victims, there was a 6-year-old boy also in the backseat,” Small said. “He’s lucky since this vehicle was hit 10 times by gunfire and three of the other passengers were all struck by gunfire.”
Investigators believe that following the shooting, the driver of the SUV drove about a block before stopping, according to Small.
No arrests have been announced in the shooting and a motive was under investigation.
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“We don’t know if somebody was intentionally firing shots at this vehicle or if it was hit by stray gunfire, but the vehicle clearly has 10 bullet holes in it,” Small said.
Around 2 p.m. Thursday, four children were shot in front of an apartment building in North Philadelphia, police said. The shooting occurred about two blocks from the Edgar Allan Poe national historic site.
Police officers responding to calls of numerous shots fired, found the wounded victims — a 13-year-old boy, a 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl — in a courtyard of the apartment complex, authorities said.
Small said at least 21 shots were fired in the direction of the children, but it was unclear if they were the targets of the shootings.
The two girls were both shot in the face and were taken to a hospital in serious condition, police said. The two boys were hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds to their legs and arms, police said.
Officers recovered a revolver at the scene, but it was not immediately clear if it was used in the shooting, police said.
The episode came as a 10 p.m. summer curfew the city recently imposed on young people under the age of 18 was in effect. The curfew was enacted by city leaders in an attempt to protect children against gun violence. But Small said two of the children were standing just outside their apartments when they were shot and two others were friends.
“They were just a few feet from the front door on the courtyard, right in front of the house where two of the victims lived,” Small said. “The other two we believe were just visiting, they were friends, when someone fired at least 21 shots in the direction of these teenagers, striking all four.”
The two shootings occurred amid a violent streak on the streets of Philadelphia, including a June 4 mass shooting that left three people dead and 11 injured in the city’s South Street entertainment district.
The Philadelphia police department’s most recent crime statistics show that as of July 10 there have been 2,233 shooting incidents in the city this year, a 6.9% increase from the same period in 2021.
As of Wednesday, the city had recorded 290 homicides, 2% fewer than at this time last year, the statistics show. Philadelphia had 562 homicides in 2021, breaking a record set in 2020.
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