Two people have died and four were injured in a drive-by shooting in North Philadelphia, according to local reports.
The shooting took place on Aug. 8 before 10 p.m. local time on 12th and Huntingdon streets, 6ABC reported.
Reports indicated that a person in a minivan opened fire, NBC Philadelphia reported. “From the evidence out here it appears to be a large caliber weapon, possibly a high-powered rifle,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross told NBC Philadelphia.
Niesha Cooper, 34, and Averill Davenport, 32, died in the shooting, according to the NBC report.
Four other victims were taken to Temple University Hospital between the ages of 27 and 51. A 30-year-old man was listed in critical condition, said police.
— Dave Schratwieser (@DSchratwieser) August 9, 2018
“We have no idea what this is about,” Ross added. “All we know is this is another example of senseless violence.”
Police haven’t arrested a suspect in the matter. “We have a surveillance video that shows a minivan, possibly gray in color, traveling westbound on Huntingdon, then south on 12th, reached this corner, then fired multiple rounds at a crowd that was standing there,” Ross told Philly.com.
“This is the United States of America. You shouldn’t have this anywhere,” Ross said. “It’s absolutely, utterly ridiculous to see stuff like this on the streets of our city.”
According to Philly.com, police don’t yet have a motive.
“We have no indication of an argument, and so right now we don’t know a lot,” Ross said.
The commissioner said that one of the weapons used in the drive-by was an automatic rifle that used “very scary looking rounds,” Philly.com reported.
He said that police are looking for video of the shooting.
Gun Violence Statistics
“Gun-related homicide is most prevalent among gangs and during the commission of felony crimes. In 1980, the percentage of homicides caused by firearms during arguments was about the same as from gang involvement (about 70 percent), but by 1993, nearly all gang-related homicides involved guns (95 percent), whereas the percentage of gun homicides related to arguments remained relatively constant. The percentage of gang-related homicides caused by guns fell slightly to 92 percent in 2008, but the percentage of homicides caused by firearms during the commission of a felony rose from about 60 percent to about 74 percent from 1980 to 2005,” according to the National Institute of Justice.
In 2011, 467,321 people were victims of a crime committed with a firearm, the agency says. “In the same year, data collected by the FBI show that firearms were used in 68 percent of murders, 41 percent of robbery offenses and 21 percent of aggravated assaults nationwide,” it adds.
But the Heritage Foundation think tank noted that amid the reporting on mass shootings, “violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades.”
“Gun-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people,” the think tank says, adding that higher rates of gun ownership aren’t associated with higher rates of violent crime. Meanwhile, “There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates,” it says.