Drivers honked in support on a dreary Sunday as they passed through the busy intersection of Limekiln Avenue and Haines Street in West Oak Lane, about 12 hours after three men were fatally shot just steps away.
Anti-violence activist Jamal Johnson and two of his friends demonstrated with signs at the corner, which is bordered by Mt. Airy Baptist Church and the Philadelphia National Cemetery. Johnson often demonstrates at the scene of homicides.
“I truly believe that we’re starting to finally get fed up,” he told Metro. “We’ve been saying that for two years, or more, but I think we’re starting to get fed up.”
Johnson, a U.S. Marine veteran and retired postal worker, drew attention last year when he went on a hunger strike and protested daily outside City Hall in an attempt to get Mayor Jim Kenney to declare a state of emergency over gun violence in Philadelphia.
He’s still not happy with Kenney, believing more could be done. Johnson suggested the city create “peace patrols” by paying residents to keep their neighborhoods safe.
“What I want is the National Guard,” he added. “I know people don’t favor that. We need to stop the bleeding so we can fix it. We’re not stopping this bleeding.”
The weekend was especially violent, with at least six people being killed by gunfire across the city.
Police said three men — two in their 20s and one in his 30s — died in the West Oak Lane shooting, which occurred just before 11:45 p.m. Saturday near the corner of Haines Street and Cedar Park Avenue.
Two men were found inside a car that was allegedly stolen, and the third victim was lying in a nearby alley, according to multiple media reports. All three were declared dead at the scene.
Investigators recovered a gun, but no one was immediately arrested.
From Jacksonville, Florida, Ishmail Nurid-deen keeps up with the news in his hometown. He left Philadelphia in 2013 but has remained friends with Johnson, a former co-worker, whose protest he joined Sunday.
“I mean, it’s like people don’t have any concern about human life,” said Nurid-deen, who visits the city several times a year.
On Sunday, at around 9 a.m., a woman in her 30s or 40s was shot in the chest on the 400 block of N. 58th Street in the Haddington section of West Philadelphia. She died a short time late at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
Officers arrested a woman and found a firearm, though authorities did not release further details Sunday.
On Saturday, just blocks away, on the 1200 block of N. 58th Street, two young men were gunned down at around 4 p.m.
A 20-year-old man was shot once in the chest, and an 18-year-old man was shot multiple times throughout his body, police said. Both succumbed to their injuries at around 4:45 p.m. No arrests have been made.
Since the start of 2022, 89 people have been killed in Philadelphia, about 6% ahead of last year’s pace, according to police department statistics.
A woman and two children were hospitalized after being stabbed just before 2:15 p.m. Sunday on the 3200 block of Knorr Street in Mayfair.
Police said a 37-year-old woman was in critical condition with several stab wounds throughout her body.
A 10-year-old boy was stabbed in the back of the head and in his leg, and a 15-year-old boy was stabbed twice in the back of the head. Both are expected to survive, authorities said.
There was no word on a possible motive in the attack.
Earlier in the day, just after 9 a.m., a 22-year-old man was shot twice in the left thigh and twice in the groin on the 3900 block of N. Front Street in North Philadelphia. His injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.
In South Philadelphia, someone shot a 23-year-old man once in his left hand at around 6:45 a.m. Sunday on the 1600 block of Jackson Street, police said. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
On Saturday, a 20-year-old man was shot multiple times in the back just before 9:45 p.m. on the 1400 block of Knorr Street in the Castor Gardens section of Northeast Philadelphia, authorities said.
Officers rushed him to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital, and he is expected to survive.
A man in his 50s was in critical condition after he was stabbed in the neck just before 6:45 p.m. Saturday inside a property on the 1800 block of W. Venango Street in North Philadelphia.
Several hours earlier, at around 1:45 p.m., a 50-year-old man showed up at Roxborough Memorial Hospital after being shot in the arm on the 4100 block of N. Broad Street in North Philadelphia.
His injuries are not expected to be life-threatening, according to police.