Philadelphia Police are still looking for suspects or motives in a shooting that left two local youths dead and two others wounded early Sunday morning at the corner of 40th and Sansom streets. According to Philadelphia Police homicide detective Henry Spencer, the four youths left the AMC Walnut 3 Theaters on the 3900 block of Walnut Street at about midnight. They were about to drive away in a car when three or four gunmen sprayed the car with automatic weapons fire and then fled on foot, Spencer said. Police recovered at least 15 casings from nine-millimeter bullets at the scene. One of the four victims attempted to flee the scene after he was shot but collapsed on the sidewalk in front of the Burger King restaurant at 40th and Walnut streets. No students were injured in the attack. Spencer said police have questioned several witnesses to the incident, all of whom said the gunmen did not speak to the victims before shooting. "They just walked up and opened fire," Spencer said. Killed in the shooting were Darren Norwood, 19, and Terrence Ryan, 18. Craig Dunston, 16, was treated and released from the emergency room Sunday morning. Aaron Porter, 18, is listed in satisfactory condition at HUP. Police said all four are residents of West Philadelphia but would not give street addresses. Homicide Sergeant John Finn said some or all of the four victims have "had police contact" in the past but declined to say if any had ever been arrested or charged with any crimes. Spencer said police are "optimistic" they will find the assailants but said they have not recovered the weapons and have only vague descriptions of the gunmen. The suspects are described as black males between the ages of 18 and 25. Finn said speculation that the killings were drug or gang-related is premature. "That's not what we're getting," he said. Spencer said police have only questioned Dunston about the shooting. He said they also spoke to the victims' families but still have few leads. But according to Bob Stern, a representative for several stores along the 3900 block of Walnut, an officer at the scene of the crime said the shooting was a retaliation by the Junior Black Mafia for another shooting last week in Germantown. Stern said he was told the events were drug-related. Some former residents of Sansom Street have reported seeing drug transactions on the street and finding crack vials on the block. Most of these complaints were not reported to University Police. University Police spokesman Sylvia Canada said yesterday that the block is not considered a prime area for drug trade but said drug sales are a reality of city life. University police responded to the shooting but are not investigating it. The shooting occurred directly in front of St. Joseph Church, at the corner of 40th and Sansom. Several students said blood stains were still clearly visible on the sidewalk when churchgoers arrived for Sunday morning services. The 40th Street area has been one of the campus' most dangerous areas over the past few years. Three students were stabbed at the corner of 40th and Walnut Streets in the fall of 1987, one critically. A local youth was shot to death outside of the McDonald's restaurant at that intersection that winter. Another University student was shot outside of the Eric 3 On The Campus Theater on 40th Street in 1988.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.