By a Biometrica staffer
Philadelphia ranks second nationwide in terms of the number of homicides so far this year, just behind Chicago, statistics presented by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw showed, according to a CNN report.
Homicides in the city increased 32% to 247 as of July 26, when compared with the same period a year ago, Outlaw told city council members at a hearing on gun violence on Tuesday. While crime dipped, overall, in many cities at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, violent crime and homicides are rising sharply around the country, the CNN report added.
Although Philadelphia ranks second highest in numbers, its percentage growth was slower than that of ten other cities. For instance, Minneapolis’ homicides surged 85% and Fort Wayne, Indiana, saw a 58% increase, according to the data Outlaw presented.
Chicago, where a series of shootings have occurred recently, ranks number one in homicides nationwide at 433, a 52% increase from the previous years, according to the data. New York ranked a close third, with a 29% increase to 227 homicides.
Tuesday’s meeting was scheduled before the increased gun violence in the city this past weekend, when six people were shot at in a single incident.
Shootings are up 36% in Philadelphia this year. On average, three children per week have been shot this year in the city, according to data from the city’s police department from last week. Nine of the shootings were fatal. In the meeting, Outlaw said top issues driving gun violence include: existing rivalries between gangs and groups; competition for territory to sell drugs; “beefs” between individuals; and a rise in the likelihood for individuals to carry firearms.