PHILADELPHIA — Police searched for several gunmen on Sunday after a shooting on a crowded downtown street killed three people, injured 11 and sparked chaos as revelers fled the carnage.
Hours later, a shooting at a Tennessee nightclub left three dead and 14 injured in Chattanooga. One of the deaths involved a person struck by a vehicle in a mad scramble after the shooting began shortly before 3 a.m., Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy said. And police in Socorro, New Mexico, were investigating a shooting Sunday that left five people injured at a crowded graduation party as gun violence continued its relentless sweep across the country.
In Philadelphia, police issued a Twitter alert shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday that emergency personnel were responding and “several people have been injured. Please avoid the area.”
Officers patrolling the popular South Street entertainment district heard the gunshots and saw what appeared to be several gunmen, Philadelphia Police Inspector DF Pace said during a briefing. An officer shot a suspect; it was not immediately clear if the shooter was injured, Pace said.
“The officer engaged the shooter,” Pace said, “and as a result of this brave officer – and again, we don’t know if he got hit or not – but the officer managed to make so that this individual drops his weapon and runs away.”
Two men and a woman were killed, all of whom suffered multiple gunshot wounds, Pace said. Damien Woods, spokesman for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, said 10 people were taken to hospital. Three had died, one was released and the other six were in stable condition.
No arrests were made. Two handguns were recovered from the scene, including one with an extended magazine. Extended or high capacity magazines carry more bullets.
“Numerous” shell casings were recovered from the area lined with trendy shops, bars and restaurants.
Mayor Jim Kenney called the assault “beyond devastating.” Updates on the investigation will be released as new information becomes available, he said.
“Once again we see lives needlessly lost and people injured in yet another horrific, brazen and despicable act of gun violence,” Kenney said. “Until we address the availability and ease of access to firearms, we will always be fighting an uphill battle.”
Police have requested the help of companies to collect surveillance video of the attack.
“There were hundreds of people taking advantage of South Street, as they do every weekend, when this shooting broke out,” Pace said. “This investigation is fluid. There are still many unanswered questions.”
Traces of Saturday night’s shooting were erased from South Street on Sunday morning, except for bullet holes that shattered the glass of an empty shop window near Rita’s popsicle. Business owners and workers said Saturday’s shooting was a reflection of worsening violence in the city and laid bare the deterioration of South Street, a popular shopping and dining spot for a long time just south of downtown.
“Every day the city is crazy,” said Julian Rivera, who has worked on South Street for 20 years.
Andy Vogel, who has lived just off South Street for about 15 years, said he felt unsafe in his own town.
“I’m not surprised by the shots anymore,” he said. “I’m just discouraged.”
Police are visible on almost every corner of South Street at night, but they were unable to prevent the mass shootings, he said.
“Either the police aren’t doing a good enough job or they can’t do a good enough job,” Vogel said. “At some point, I think guns are going to be banned.”
Sabrina Leftie, a city sanitation worker, was unsurprised when she got the call to report to work on South Street on Sunday morning. Years ago, a shooting on South Street would have been unheard of, she said. Now young adults are disrespecting law enforcement, she said, and tensions are higher, with many people struggling financially to emerge from the pandemic.
“You don’t feel safe anywhere,” Leftie said.
Adam Garber, executive director of advocacy group CeaseFirePA Education Fund, called the shooting “entirely predictable” and called on Harrisburg state lawmakers to tighten gun controls.
It will only end when elected officials … act,” Garber said of the violence. “When they say no one needs a long magazine to hunt. That no one needs an assault weapon for their safety.”
In Socorro, Police Chief David Burton said about 100 teenagers and young adults were celebrating at a high school graduation party early Saturday when someone started shooting into the street. crowd. Two of the injured teenagers were in critical condition.
In Chattanooga, Murphy said there were multiple shooters but the shooting was considered an isolated incident. Authorities do not believe there is an ongoing threat to public safety.
“We are trying to determine exactly what happened and what led to this,” she said.
Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, a self-proclaimed “hunter” and gun owner, called on Congress to address gun violence.
“That doesn’t mean taking guns away from responsible gun owners, but it does mean mandatory background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines that allow shooters to injure dozens of people without even having to reload,” he said. he declared. “It’s going to be a long summer, and we have to come out front and end it.”
Bacon reported from Arlington, Virginia. Contribute: The Associated Press