According to the police, unknown persons “shot into the crowd” in a nightlife district in the US city of Philadelphia, killing at least three people. The two men and one woman were declared dead on arrival at the hospital as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, a police representative said on Sunday night (local time). In addition, eleven people were injured by gunfire in the incident in the state of Pennsylvania.
A police officer shot one of the attackers, who then fled, said officer D.F. Pace. The police have seized two semi-automatic pistols, the perpetrators are volatile. “Numerous” ammunition casings were seized on busy South Street. “You can imagine there were hundreds of people on South Street – like every weekend,” the police officer said.
“Once it started, I didn’t think it was going to stop,” 23-year-old passerby Joe Smith told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I only heard screams.”
Another witness described to The Inquirer scenes of people fleeing the shooting and “coming off the street with blood spattered on white sneakers, scraped knees and scraped elbows.” The paper also reported another fatal gun attack two hours after the shooting on South Street. One person was killed in this. Police believe the two attacks are not related.
At the time of the crime on Saturday, shortly before midnight (local time), there were hundreds of people in the area with numerous restaurants and bars, as Pace described, as is usual at the weekend. The police hope to get more information about the crime and to identify the perpetrators through surveillance cameras. So far it is still unclear how many shooters there were and what the motive for the crime was.
Almost two hours later, at least three people were killed and 14 others injured in the state of Tennessee. Early Sunday morning (local time), two people were killed by gunfire near a nightclub in downtown Chattanooga, local police chief Celeste Murphy said. Another person died after being hit by a fleeing vehicle.
In Chattanooga, twelve other people were injured by bullets in addition to the three dead, and two other people were injured by fleeing vehicles. Several of the injured are in critical condition, the police chief said. According to Murphy, the shots were “definitely” fired by more than one perpetrator. The background to the fact was initially unclear. So far there has been no arrest.
The United States has been rocked by several deadly cases of gun violence in recent weeks. A week later, after the massacre in Texas, a 45-year-old shot four people and himself in a hospital in the US state of Oklahoma. The shooter’s target was his doctor, whom he blamed for his persistent back pain after an operation.
About three weeks ago, a gunman armed with an assault rifle shot dead ten people and injured three others in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. According to investigators, this act was racially motivated – 11 of the 13 victims were black.