Tracking gun violence in Philadelphia: April 21, 2021

Above: Should we expect community gun violence to spike following outbreaks of social unrest? Last year, shootings in Philadelphia increased after George Floyd was killed on May 25 and then 40 people were shot in the three days following the outbreak of protest violence on May 30. On average, six people were shot in the city each day during 2020. [@PCGVR]

Latest data

• The weekly Philadelphia shooting victim total fell back to 23 during the seven-day period ending Sunday. The previous week’s total was revised up from 48 to 51. Year-to-date shooting victims in the city are now running 37.7% ahead of last year’s pace. [Philadelphia Police via Google Docs]

• Total homicides are now running 30 percent ahead of last year’s pace in Philadelphia, with 151 people killed as of late Monday night. In 2015, 66 homicides had been reported by the same date. [] Philadelphia

• Princeton Prof. Patrick Sharkey announced that American Violence is now back online with multiple forms of data on violence from the 100 largest US cities. [@patrick_sharkey]

Using the updated site, we have observed:

• During 2020, Philadelphia suffered the highest rate of fatal shootings — 27.39 per 100k residents — among the 10 US cities with populations greater than one million. [American Violence]

• The rate of nonfatal shootings in Philadelphia has climbed sharply over the past three years, when compared with other American cities with more than one million residents. [American Violence]

• Philadelphia has suffered the highest murder rate among US cities with populations greater than one million during 15 of the first 20 years of this century but not last year. [American Violence]

Roadmap Update

• The city announced an update to the Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities — a multi-year violence reduction strategy — during last week’s gun violence briefing, and highlighted a new leadership team. [MailChimp/]

Loud and clear

• Commissioner Danielle Outlaw announced during the gun violence briefing that Philadelphia Police would utilize “Eddie Eagle” gun education training materials — created for children by the National Rifle Association — but the program was dropped one day later following widespread outrage. [Billy Penn/@PhillyPolice]

City Budget

• Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney presented his budget proposal one day after the briefing, including $36 million for violence prevention. CeaseFirePA noticed that more funding has been set aside for potholes. [NBC10/@CeaseFirePA]

State of the City

• Philadelphians polled during the summer said they were more worried about public safety and crime than about COVID-19. [The Pew Trusts]

Children shot inside homes

• A nine-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl were shot inside their homes in separate incidents last week in Philadelphia, both stuck by gunfire coming from outside. The boy was also the the city’s fourth shooting victim under age 12 in less than three weeks and the 55th child shot in the city so far in 2021. [6ABC/The Philadelphia Inquirer/@PCGVR/@NBCPhiladelphia]

Across the Delaware River

• New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy unveiled what he described as the most significant “gun violence prevention package in the history of the nation.” [Insider NJ]


• More children were shot during the pandemic. There was also an increase in firearm injuries inflicted by children. [American Academy of Pediatrics]

Free conference

• Hear from thought leaders in gun violence prevention during a free Penn Medicine conference online beginning tomorrow. [@SSRazaMD]


• We can’t arrest our way out of Philly’s gun violence crisis. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Ghost guns

• Ghost guns are DIY firearms made at home, usually from parts or kits bought online, though some can be 3-D printed. Most Americans support restrictions. [The Philadelphia Inquirer/Morning Consult]

Reporting resource

• Research and resources explain how gun injuries lead to billions of dollars in hospital costs and lost work time. [The Journalists Resource]

Reporting summit updates

• You can now watch the recent Gun Violence News Summit — in which we participated — online and in its entirely. On the day after, the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review said that aggressively calling gun death in America unacceptable is “well within the realm of good journalism.” [CJR/WNYC]


• The second episode of “Philly Under Fire” explores the public health perspective on gun violence. [The Philadelphia Citizen]

Solution of the week

• We have mentioned Advance Peace before but new research finds that the program saved lives in several cities plus tens of millions of dollars in one. [The Guardian]

What if?

• What if changing the way journalists cover gun violence could prevent shootings and save lives? To help us find out, please consider supporting the Center for Gun Violence Reporting at Community College of Philadelphia and our new Credible Messenger Reporting Project. [WEDIDIT]