CNN

A bustling entertainment district turned into a scene of carnage when multiple gunmen opened fire in Philadelphia’s South Street neighborhood, killing at least three people and injuring 11 others, police said.

Officers patrolling the South Street area heard gunshots and observed “several active shooters firing into the crowd,” Philadelphia Police Inspector DF Pace said.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw told a news conference Sunday that the shooting began around 11:31 p.m. Saturday.

Officers stationed on South Street “observed several civilians with gunshot wounds lying on the sidewalk and in the street.” Officers then began providing first aid to those injured, she added.

Outlaw said five guns were used by the shooters after a possible “physical altercation”. A gunman was likely shot but escaped police, she said; another suspected shooter, who may have been involved in the physical altercation, is likely among the three people killed.

The other two victims are believed to be innocent bystanders, Outlaw said.

Two handguns were recovered from the scene, including one with an extended magazine, according to Pace. No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.

“At this point, we don’t know if the altercation that took place was between a group of individuals, or if it was related to another group or affiliation,” Outlaw said.

An officer who saw a man fire a handgun into a large crowd pulled out his gun and “fired several times in the direction of the unknown, we believe he hit him,” Outlaw said. “The unknown male dropped his handgun on the sidewalk and ran south on 600 American Street. The male then became lost in the area.

The police department said the victims were Gregory Jackson, 34; Alexis Quinn, 27; and a 22-year-old man whose name has not yet been released.

Eleven people suffered gunshot wounds and one was in critical condition on Sunday night, police said in a statement. They are between 17 and 69 years old.

Outlaw said the investigation is in its early stages and the incident was one of several shootings in the area on Saturday night. It’s not yet clear if the shootings are linked, she said.

Police said hundreds of people were in the South Street area just before gunfire broke out.

“Yesterday was a dark day for Philadelphia,” Outlaw said. “And while many of us were enjoying the beautiful day in the city, a horrific and unthinkable act happened at a very popular local and tourist hangout.”

Police are working with state and federal authorities on the investigation and the FBI is providing resources, the commissioner said. Police are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and have urged any witnesses to come forward.

“Hundreds and hundreds of people were there last night,” Outlaw said.

The identity of the two men and a woman killed has not been released.

The violence in Philadelphia marked the ninth mass shooting in the United States this weekend, CNN has confirmed. There have been at least 246 mass shootings in the United States this year, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.

“The rise in gun violence we’ve seen across the country — and here in Philadelphia — not only makes me heartbroken, but angry,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Sunday.

“Once again we see lives needlessly lost and people injured in yet another horrific, brazen and despicable act of gun violence.”

The mayor ordered a curfew in part of downtown Philadelphia from 8 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday, citing “recent patterns of violence in the area and ongoing security concerns,” according to the city. official Twitter account.

The ordinance prohibits all pedestrian and vehicular traffic with exceptions only for residents, local owners and employees, licensed medical personnel, members of the media and law enforcement.

South Street is “known as an entertainment corridor” with several bars and restaurants, Pace said.

“There were hundreds of people taking advantage of South Street, as they do every weekend, when this shooting broke out.”

The motives for the shooting remain unclear.

Police confirmed the presence of uniformed officers increased Saturday night on the streets of Philadelphia with several events scheduled across the city. They said there will be an even larger presence of officers on Sunday night, after the Saturday night shooting.

“People shouldn’t be afraid. They shouldn’t be afraid. What happened last night is an atrocity. But it’s not something we see all the time. And again, I don’t want us to normalize this. It’s not normal in the city of Philadelphia and I don’t want anyone to start thinking that’s the case,” Outlaw said.

There have been at least 239 mass shootings so far this year, according to Gun Violence Archive. CNN and the archives define a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.

The mayor said he was tired of senseless gun violence and called for tougher laws to help prevent violent people from getting guns.

“We cannot accept continued violence as a way of life in our country. Until we address the availability and ease of access to firearms, we will always be fighting an uphill battle,” Kenney said.

“I will continue to fight to protect our communities and urge others to advocate for stronger laws that keep guns out of the reach of violent individuals.”

The Philadelphia shooting follows back-to-back high-profile shootings, including those of a supermarket in Buffalo, New York; an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas; and a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Early Sunday in Chattanooga, Tennessee, three people were killed and at least 14 others were injured in a shooting at a nightclub just before 2:45 a.m., according to local police.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly expressed his frustration on Sunday, telling reporters, “I’m tired of standing in front of you talking about guns and dead bodies.”

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner called for a boycott of National Rifle Association donations and lobbyists.

After last night’s “terrible crimes on South Street, tell our lawmakers in Pennsylvania it’s time for real action,” Krasner tweeted Sunday.

“Boycott NRA lobbyists, boycott NRA donations, and bring real common sense gun regulation to Pennsylvania. Now.”

Correction: A previous photo incorrectly identified bullet holes in a Philadelphia South Street storefront from the June 4 incident. The photo has been replaced.





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