Gunfire leave 8 wounded, including two teens

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Tuesday was another violent day in Philadelphia, as eight people were wounded in shootings over the span of about five hours.

A 38-year-old man was injured inside his own home when two gunmen opened fire through the door and windows, investigators said.

Police said the shooting occurred at around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday on the 2900 block of E. Street in Kensington. The victim told officers the suspects knocked at his door, looking for a person named Jack, when gunfire rang out.

He was taken to the hospital with a superficial wound to his back, according to police.

Just before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, a 31-year-old woman was shot in the right leg on the 5200 block of Walnut Street in West Philadelphia.

At around the same time, in a separate incident, a 31-year-old man was shot in the abdomen and lower back on the 800 block of W. Tioga Street in North Philadelphia, authorities said.

Both were listed in stable condition.

A 15-year-old girl was shot once in the neck and a 17-year-old boy was struck once in the arm when someone opened fire just before 8 p.m. on the 4900 block of Pulaski Avenue near Happy Hollow Recreation Center in Germantown.

The teenagers are expected to survive, according to authorities.

Of the nearly 500 people wounded in shootings this year in Philadelphia, 48 have been under the age of 18, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said Wednesday.

“Our young people are continuing to turn to guns at an alarming rate,” she said. “Our children have access to weapons. We need to do everything in our power to steer them in a different direction.”

Outlaw encouraged parents, caregivers and mentors to be aware of what children and teenagers are up to on social media. A number of recent shootings have been tied to online disputes.

Two weeks ago, the Philadelphia Police Department began beefing up its presence at recreation centers, particularly those in areas of high violence, PPD leaders said.

In some cases, that means officers stationed at playgrounds, and, other times, patrol cars are told to make periodic checks, Deputy Police Commissioner Joe Dales said.

Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration is working on a strategy aiming to boost security at recreation centers and public pools ahead of the summer months, according to officials.

In West Philadelphia, a 24-year-old man was shot twice in the buttocks at around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday on Edgewood Street just north of Market Street, authorities said. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in stable condition.

Two men were hospitalized following a shooting at around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on the 900 block of W. Butler Street in the Hunting Park neighborhood.

Police said a 43-year-old man was shot three times in the left thigh and once in the groin, and another man, also 43, sustained a gunshot wound to his left shoulder. Both are expected to physically recover.

Kenney was scheduled to release an update to the city’s anti-violence plan, called “The Roadmap to Safer Communities,” during a press briefing Wednesday; however, he decided to push it back two weeks to coincide with his budget presentation.

Dr. Ruth Abaya, of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, said her unit has been tasked with creating a public health framework for the plan.

“The vast majority of our capital we would like to see spent on the pre-event phase, so before violence occurs, if we want to take a truly public health preventative approach,” she said.

Non-fatal shootings are up about 50% from this time last year, and the homicide count, now at 120, has jumped nearly 30%.

“This isn’t simply a policing problem,” Outlaw said. “Our entire community has to work together to turn this around.”

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