Three people were killed and 11 were injured Saturday night in a shooting in downtown Philadelphia, the authorities said.
Police officers were patrolling South Street, a lively area with many restaurants and bars, when “they observed several active shooters shooting into the crowd,” Inspector DF Pace of the Philadelphia Police Department said at a news conference early Sunday.
One of the officers had fired at one of the gunmen, but it was unclear whether the gunman had been hit, Inspector Pace said.
Fourteen victims were taken to hospitals after the shooting, he said, adding that among them, two men and a woman had been pronounced dead upon arrival. They are Kristopher Minners, Alexis Quinn and Gregory “Japan” Jackson, according to State Senator Vincent J. Hughes.
Of the 10 patients taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, three were dead, three were in stable condition and four had been discharged, said Damien Woods, a spokesman for the hospital.
“You can imagine there were hundreds of individuals just enjoying South Street, as they do every single weekend, when this shooting broke out,” Inspector Pace said.
He said that the investigation was continuing, and that the police would review surveillance footage to help identify the gunmen.
At least two guns have been recovered from the scene, one with an extended magazine, Inspector Pace said, adding that numerous shell casings littered the surrounding area.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement on Sunday morning expressing his condolences to the families of the victims and calling for more firearm restrictions. “We cannot accept continued violence as a way of life in our country.” he said. “Until we address the availability and ease of access to firearms, we will always be fighting an uphill battle.”
The shooting was the 10th in Philadelphia over the course of Friday and Saturday, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization that tracks shooting deaths. The other nine shootings each had a single victim; one resulted in death. There was another shooting on High Street on Tuesday resulting in one injury.
Meghan Ford, who was working at a bar down the block from the shooting, said that from the beginning of the evening shift, “something was in the air,” with swarms of teenagers and commotion.
“This has been the second one on a Saturday night right here,” Ms. Ford said. “And it’s freaking heartbreaking.”
The Gun Violence Archive has counted nearly 240 mass shootings so far this year, defined as one in which four or more people were killed or injured. Shootings in the United States rose sharply during the pandemic.