Shooting Season Begins in Philadelphia

Last week was one of the warmest, most pleasant weeks of the year. Unfortunately, it was also one of the most violent. All corners of the city saw shootings and stabbings, which has raised much concern as summer approaches.

Whatever the connection is between warm weather and violence, one thing remains clear: as the temperature starts to increase, so does the violence.

We usually try to keep things light around here, but in an effort to portray the scope of the recent wave of crime, we’ve compiled a detailed list of last week’s incidents below.

Last Sunday, a woman named Malisha Jessie, 30, was found shot to death in the Tioga area of North Philadelphia; her body was identified Monday morning. No arrests have been made.

On Tuesday of last week, just before 1 am, Jeffrey Thompson, 23, was found in critical condition in North Philadelphia as a result of several stabs wounds. That same evening just before 6 pm, police rushed to Somerset and Lee Streets in Kensington due to reports of gunshots. A woman, Amanda Martinez, 21, was found with two gunshots in the torso and three men, ages 18, 21, and 35, were critically wounded at the scene. No motive for the shooting has been provided. According to police, drugs seem to be the likely cause. Eye witnesses claim fights had been breaking out in the neighborhood throughout the day. Police aren’t sure if there is a connection, but just five hours later, near 54th and Chestnut Streets, Marquis Battle, 18, was shot while riding his bicycle home. No arrests have been made.

Last Wednesday, in Southwest Philly near Millick Street and Elmwood Avenue, an 18 and 24-year-old male were shot. No arrests have been made. Also on Wednesday, a 20-year-old male was shot inside an 8 Brothers Food Market on Tasker near 27th Street around 4 pm. He is currently in the hospital in critical condition. The store clerk working at the time was miraculously saved by his belt buckle, which absorbed the bullet’s impact. Police arrested the gunman and later identified him as Edward Lyons.

Last Thursday seemed to take the cake; over the course of six hours, three separate murders occurred.

Just after 2 am an officer found a 24-year-old male shot multiple times in the torso. He was declared dead shortly after being found. Two hours later, a 21-year-old male was pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital after he found shot three times in the chest, shoulder and arm on Wednesday night in Francisville. At 8 am, a resident living in Harrowgate near M Street and Kensington Avenue found a body shot in the head, back, and buttocks in an alley.

Also on Thursday afternoon, a fight erupted across the street from Overbrook High School that escalated into a gun fight, leaving one student dead and two other teens wounded.

Despite the recent spike in violent crime, the total number of murders for 2013 is actually 38% lower than it was this time last year. We sincerely hope it stays that way.

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Caroline Edgeton

Caroline has been a devoted reader and writer for as long as she can remember. She is a North Carolina native and Wake Forest University graduate. She is a non-pretentious music, movie and food connoisseur. Loves the south, seeing live music, cooking, photography, coffee, meeting new people and aimlessly walking around cities. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @carolineedgeton.

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