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Philadelphia shooting: At least five dead as heavily armed gunman opens fire at random on streets

Officers take suspect into custody and recover rifle, handgun, and additional magazines

Maroosha Muzaffar
Tuesday 04 July 2023 10:21 BST
Philadelphia mass shooting leaves five dead

At least five people were killed in a mass shootout on Monday evening in Philadelphia after a gunman “decided to leave their home and target individuals”, according to the police.

There were “multiple gunshot victims”, the Philadelphia Police Department said but didn’t reveal the identities or any further details about the victims.

Police commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at a news conference: “At this point, all we know is that this person (the suspect) decided to leave their home and target individuals.” He had a bulletproof vest, an “AR-type rifle”, multiple magazines, a handgun, and a police scanner, she said.

Reports said that at least eight people were shot. The figure was later revised to seven – five were killed and two wounded. Six victims were taken to the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and two were taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, according to local reports.

Three of the dead were 20 to 59 years old men, while the fourth, who had not yet been identified, was estimated to be between 16 and 21. Police said a fifth victim’s body was later found.

Ms Outlaw said that the two hospitalised victims are boys, aged two and 13 and are believed to be in stable condition.

The shooting took place over several blocks in southwestern Philadelphia’s Kingsessing neighbourhood at around 8.30pm local time, police said.

The suspect, reportedly was wearing a bulletproof vest and was identified to be a 40-year-old male.

The Philadephia Inquirer reported that the bodies of four victims were found at several locations.

“You can see there are several scenes out here,” Ms Outlaw said. “We’re canvassing the area to get as much as we can, to identify witnesses, to identify where cameras are located and to do everything to figure out the why.”

Police spokesperson Miguel Torres said in a statement to CNN that officers took the suspect into custody from an alleyway behind the 1600 block of South Frazier Street. Police chased the suspect before he surrendered.

According to Gun Violence Archive, at least 339 mass shootings – with four or more killed or injured – have occurred in the US so far this year.

“Horrified by the reports of a shooting in Southwest Philadelphia,” Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney tweeted. “My heart is with the loved ones and families of everyone involved, and I send my prayers to the victims. This devastating violence must stop,” he added.

Meanwhile, police said that officers did not discharge their firearms during the arrest.

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