This story was last updated at 11:18 p.m. on June 9. Please check back for new updates.
A mass shooting occurred late Saturday evening on Philadelphia’s busy South Street, leaving three people dead and 11 wounded.
Gunshots were fired around 11:30 p.m. near Third and South streets in the city’s Queen Village neighborhood. Multiple shooters were seen firing into a crowd gathered on the street, where many bars, restaurants, and retail stores are located. On a typical summer night, hundreds gather on this famous street. The havoc caused by the shooting stretched for several blocks, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
A Philadelphia police officer on patrol shot in the direction of one of the shooters who was actively firing and struck the suspect in the hand. Philadelphia Police Inspector D.F. Pace said that the shooter dropped his gun as he fled the scene, which contained an extended magazine. After the shooting, police recovered two semi-automatic handguns from the scene. According to the Inquirer, the police believe five weapons were involved in the shooting, and that there were multiple active shooters.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the mass shooting: 18-year-old Qaadir Dukes-Hill, 17-year-old Nahjee Whittington, 18-year-old Quran Garner, and 34-year-old Rashaan Vereen. Both Dukes-Hill and Whittington are expected to face murder charges for shooting into the crowd after the initial shots were fired, 6ABC reported. Garner has been charged with aggravated assault and aggravated assault of law enforcement officers, while Vereen has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and conspiracy, among other charges. The Philadelphia Police Department now believe that all people involved with the incident are in custody, as one gunman was killed in the shooting and another will not be charged because prosecutors determined that he acted in self-defense.
Philadelphia Police have identified the victims as 22-year-old Kristopher Minners, 27-year-old Alexis Quinn, and 34-year-old Gregory “Japan” Jackson. Those who were wounded range in age from 17 to 69. Nearly all were bystanders, police say.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a press conference Sunday afternoon that “yesterday was a dark day for Philadelphia,” calling the mass shooting “horrendous and unthinkable acts.”
A video shared on social media and corroborated by the Inquirer shows a fight that appears to have led to the shooting. In the video, two men — one pulling what looks to be a handgun from his waist — approach a third man standing outside Rita’s Italian Ice at 239 South St. A brief argument then turns into a physical altercation between the men, starting on the sidewalk and moving toward the middle of the street, and gunfire rings out shortly after. Several other people began shooting into crowds converging outside following the initial gunfire.
Saturday’s shooting comes in the wake of multiple mass shootings across the United States in recent weeks. On May 18, 10 Black people were killed and three others were wounded by a shooter in a Buffalo, N.Y. supermarket, which local and federal officials said was a racially motivated hate crime. Additionally, 19 children and two teachers were killed by a shooter on May 24 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit data organization, 254 mass shootings have occurred in the United States this year as of June 9.
Philadelphia set a historic record of 562 homicides in 2021, the highest number in the city’s history. Of those 562 deaths, 486 were the result of shootings — up 95% from five years ago, according to data reported by Billy Penn.
According to Deputy Commissioner Joel Dales, Philadelphia Police had extra officers stationed in the South Street area Saturday night based on tips and calls they received. More officers will be added to patrol on Sunday night.
Mayor Jim Kenney issued a written statement Sunday morning, encouraging anyone with information regarding the shooting to call 215-686-TIPS. He said he is “not just heartbroken, but angry” as a result of Saturday’s mass shooting and the rise of gun violence in the United States.
“I know this shooting has shaken many people in our community. The safety of our residents and visitors is our top priority. We cannot accept continued violence as a way of life in our country,” Kenney said. “Our administration, in partnership with all of our local and federal law enforcement agencies, continues to work relentlessly to reduce violence and create safer communities.”