No Libs Residents Want Beefed-Up Security After Shooting

After Monday’s shooting outside PYT at the Piazza, residents of Northern Liberties are calling for increased security measures for the mixed-use complex.

According to Homicide Unit Capt. James Clark, an individual started firing shots late Monday night on Hancock Street, wounding Maurice Kimble of Upper Darby. Soon after being taken to Hahnemann University Hospital, Maurice was pronounced dead.

While the cause of the brutal dispute remains unclear, the victim and the perpetrator were reportedly strangers, which has some residents worried that more indiscriminate acts of violence could occur without added security. Police are expecting to close in on a suspect in the near future.

Alarmed at this heightened sense of danger, a witness on the scene told the DN, “I’ve been trying to get out of the complex since March.” In addition to non-violent crimes plaguing the area, Monday’s murder is the third murder at the Piazza complex.

No Libs’ growing unease comes after the area’s zip code (19123) was listed as one of the top 25 gentrified places in the U.S., according the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Washington D.C. Other cities that also made the list include Brooklyn, Chicago and Washington D.C.

The numbers indicate that, in 2000, the area was 25% white or Caucasian. That number has since spiked to 46%, an estimate made in 2010. Many list local developer Bart Blastein’s decision to open the Piazza in 2009 as a leading cause for the gentrification. During this time, college students and retirees essentially took over the area, inevitably encroaching on the African American and Latino communities that developed throughout the 1950s and 1990s.

In order to address the multiple concerns surrounding the recent events, President of Northern Liberties Neighbors Association (NLNA) Matt Ruben stated that a meeting aimed at finding ways to enhance security is in the works for community members and individuals from the PYT and Piazza.

Source: | Photos: The Piazza Facebook Page

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Olga Hajishengallis

A Penn State undergrad, Olga can be found marveling at antique stores wherever she can find one. When she is not doing that, she occupies her time by admiring international tennis players on TV, talking to her twin sister in Greeklish about all things psychology or scanning news and entertainment sites at least once every waking hour.

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