Tracking gun violence in Philadelphia: January 6, 2021

Above: The Gun Violence Crisis Map from the Philadelphia Office of the Controller displays shooting victims recorded in the city during 2020. Fatalities are represented in red.

Latest Philadelphia data

• Police are reporting 181 shooting victims in Philadelphia during December, down slightly from the previous month but still 66 percent above the average victim total seen during the same month over the past five years. Altogether, police recorded 2,251 shooting victims in Philadelphia during 2020, a 53 percent increase over the previous year. At least 402 shooting victims died during 2020, representing a 33 percent increase. []

Economic cost

• Last year’s gun violence in Philadelphia will result in an economic burden of more than $657 million — to be paid mostly by taxpayers — when calculated from the city cost estimates. [@JimMacMillan|The Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities]

Total homicides

• Philadelphia appears to have come up just short of a previous record with 499 total homicides during 2020. Seven more people were killed during the first four days of 2021. Last year was the second deadliest of the last 60 years, with homicides up 40% compared to 2019. [ Philadelphia]

Homicide rates

• Philadelphia’s 499 homicides during 2020 amount to 31 deaths per 100,000 residents while Chicago’s 769 homicides amount to 28 per 100,000, when measured against U.S. Census population estimates for both cities. Philadelphia has led the nine largest U.S. cities — those with populations of more than one million each — during most years since the turn of the century. [The Associated Press|U.S. Census|@jimmacmillan]

Mass shootings

• There were at least 612 mass shootings in the U.S. during 2020, a 47% increase over 2019. Five percent of those incidents took place in Philadelphia. [@TeamTrace|@PCGVR]

Mothers in Charge

• Two local news stations checked in with one of Philadelphia’s leading violence prevention communities as our violent year came to an end. [CBS Philly|NBC Philadelphia]


• A Penn medical student explains why we must address gun violence as seriously as the COVID-19 pandemic. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Gun sales

• Last month 86,698 guns were sold in Pennsylvania, down 15 percent from the previous month but up 28 percent when compared with December, 2019. Many of this year’s U.S. gun purchasers have told retailers that they’re buying them for self-protection, motivated by what they’re seeing on the news. [The Trace|Forbes]

News from the Center

• ICYMI: There was a pretty good update on our activities in the fundraising pitch we sent out last week. [PCGVR]

Solution of the Week

• The Brownsville Safety Alliance provided enhanced social services while reducing police presence in Brooklyn for five days and 911 calls dropped to zero. []