Tracking gun violence in Philadelphia: September 8, 2020

Shooting Victims

• The number of people shot in Philadelphia fell to 37 for the seven-day period ending Sunday, according to the latest Citywide Major Crimes weekly report from the Philadelphia Police Department. Twice as many people were shot two weeks earlier. The update brought the city’s year-to-date shooting victim total to 1,373, which represents a 41.1 percent increase vs. the same period last year. An average of 27 people were shot in the city each week during the previous five years. [Philadelphia Police]


• The latest update also reports 2,394 aggravated assaults with guns this year in Philadelphia, which includes shooting incidents, for an increase of 35.6 percent vs. 2019. Arrests for aggravated assaults with guns are up two percent this year at 701. [Philadelphia Police/Philadelphia District Attorney]

Monthly shooting victim totals

• Open city data reported 275 people shot last month in Philadelphia. An average of 140 people were shot during the month of August over the previous five years in Philadelphia. [Data.Phila.Gov]

• At least two people were shot every day in August and at least 10 people were shot on 15 of the month’s 31 days. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Summer, 2020, by the numbers

  • 691: People shot in Philadelphia during June, July and August of this year.
  • 397: Average number of shooting victims reported during the same three-month period from 2015 through 2019.
  • 74: percent increase when compared with previous five-year average.


Homicide Victims

• Police reported 307 total homicides in Philadelphia through Sunday night, 31 percent ahead of last year’s pace and 84 percent ahead of the rate recorded during the same period in 2013. [Philadelphia Police]


• Two teens were killed and two more were wounded Wednesday night in South Philadelphia. Six people were shot in one incident in East Germantown late Thursday night. There was a triple shooting in Kingsessing early Sunday and another triple shooting Monday in North Philadelphia. [NBC Philadelphia/NBC Philadelphia/6ABC/CBS3]

• At least 10 people have been shot on one North Philadelphia corner over the past year. Most of the 30 shooting victims reported so far this year in the Philadelphia Police 6th District were struck within a block or two of this corner. The district, which also includes roughly half of Center City, averaged one vicim per month from 2015-2019. [Billy Penn/Phila.Data.Gov via Twitter]

Mass shootings

• News reports have recorded 20 shooting incidents with four or more people wounded or killed this year-to-date in Philadelphia, compared with 14 such incidents during all of 2019, and nearly four times as many as recored during 2015 or 2016. [Gun Violence Archive]

• Mass shootings are soaring in the U.S. this year, with black neighborhoods hit hardest. [The Trace]

Online today

• The Philadelphia City Council Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention will reconvene at 9:30 a.m. You can watch the session live online. [ /]

• Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson will host the North Star Convention Gun Violence Forum this afternoon at 4 p.m. but you have to RSVP in advance. [Instagram/North Star Convention]

• Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro will join leading national gun violence prevention advocates Shannon Watts and Fred Guttenberg for a conversation on Zoom this evening. [ACTBlue]

City Hall

• Last week’s hearing held by the Philadelphia City Council Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention lasted about three and a half hours but yielded no concrete plans. Session video is archived online. [WHYY/YouTube]

• Councilmember Jamie Gauthier wrote a letter calling on Mayor Kenney to declare gun violence a citywide emergency. [WHYY]


• Temple University criminal justice Professor Jerry Ratcliffe shared a chart demonstrating that the number of people shot by police officers in Philadelphia has been on the decline. [Twitter]

National emergency

• Shooting victims are up 95 percent this year-to-date in New York City, vs. the same period during 2019. [NYPD]


• What are the signs, causes and results of police work slowdowns apparent in some U.S. cities this summer? [ProPublica]

Structural racism

• A surgeon in Boston found that historically redlined neighborhoods had 11 times as much gun violence as the rest of the city. [Twitter]

New research

• Poverty and close living quarters probably contributed to the correlation between high COVID rates and gun violence observed in Philadelphia. [Penn Medicine News]

• Gun violence costs the U.S. health care system $170 billion each year, including $16 billion for operations alone. [US News]

• Active shooters drills are making children sick. [Everytown]

• Looking ahead: More than 100 trauma centers kick off two-year research project to collect extra data on gun injury patients to help identify risk factors. [The Daily Chronicle]

Solution of the week

• A Philadelphia high school student who has lost many loved ones to gun violence says we need to: 1) Fund more extracurricular activities for Philadelphia’s youth, 2) Gather stakeholders, including community members, and 3) Meet people where they are: social media and protests. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Reporting practices

• The Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting recently published a set of best practices for reporting on community gun violence. The IBGVR site also has a new gun data catalog. [IBGVR]

Getting help in Philadelphia

• People affected by gun violence in Philadelphia can find resources online. [Billy Penn]

• Safe gun storage prevents unintentional shootings and people in Philadelphia are invited to get a free gun lock. [Temple Safety Net]