Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ten are dead in weekend violence

At least 10 people died over the weekend as bullets cut through several Philadelphia neighborhoods - including Center City, where homicides are rare - and at a barbecue in West Philadelphia. At least nine others were wounded in shootings or stabbings.
Despite the national spotlight on gun violence after the Virginia Tech massacre and at least three antiviolence conferences held in Philadelphia last week, the homicide toll climbed to 127, rising as the temperature hit the high 70s.

The Center City shooting - at 12th and Chestnut Streets - quickly resulted in an arrest. Investigations continued in the other cases.

The latest shooting occurred at 10:34 p.m. yesterday on the 100 block of West Roosevelt Boulevard and took the life of one man.

About a half hour earlier, a shooting at 9:58 p.m. yesterday on the 200 block of Bringhurst Street resulted in one death at the scene. Two other people wounded in that incident were taken to Einstein Medical Center.

Among the other victims this weekend were:

Kevin Morton, 30, who was found with multiple gunshot wounds in the 5400 block of Harley Terrace about 11 p.m. Saturday, Homicide Police Sgt. Anthony McFadden said. About 30 minutes earlier, a 42-year-old man had been shot in the back in the 4800 block of McKean Street in Southwest Philadelphia.

Fatima Whitfield, 29, was fatally shot in the head in a vacant apartment she occupied in the 1500 block of Allegheny Avenue in the Olney section, McFadden said.

A 28-year-old man who was killed early Saturday morning in the Adelphia apartments at 12th and Chestnut Streets was identified yesterday as Terrence Eddigs. He had been shot in the chest during an argument overheard by neighbors while visiting an acquaintance's apartment, police said. Solomon Esangbedo, 22, was charged with murder in that killing and held at the police detention center over the weekend.

In North Philadelphia, Demond Brown, 31, was shot to death, and at a barbeque in West Philadelphia, James Alford, 29, was killed.

Two more men died Friday: Andrew Strimel, 19, of the 1800 block of East Lippincott Avenue, and Victor Dash, 29, of the 300 block of Euclid Street, who died from wounds suffered Tuesday.

In addition, the body of a homicide victim recovered in Trenton yesterday was traced to a slaying on Thursday in Philadelphia, police said. The victim, a 32-year-old Feltonville man was found with gunshot wounds to the torso. His name was not released yesterday pending notification of his family.

Even as the weekend got under way, officials and other civic leaders were conferring on ways to stop the city's violence. On Friday alone, three forums were held by various groups to find ways to bring about peace in the streets.

At one of them, more than 200 doctors, social workers and community activists held a violence-prevention conference sponsored by the local branch of Physicians for Social Responsibility.