Philadelphia mayor calls shooting 'beyond devastating' amid weekend of gun violence

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on Sunday decried the mass shooting that happened hours earlier in his city in which three people were killed and another 11 were injured.

Kenney called the events of the previous evening "beyond devastating." Again, he said, "we see lives lost and people injured in yet another horrendous, brazen and despicable act of gun violence."

Late Saturday night, gunfire erupted on Philadelphia's bustling South Street, where hundreds of people were enjoying the warm weekend amid the area's many restaurants and bars. At least 14 people were hit, three fatally.

Police are searching for the gunmen, and no arrests had been made as of Sunday morning. Two handguns were found on the scene, authorities said.

Philadelphia was far from the only city to experience gun violence this weekend.

In Chattanooga, Tenn., two people were killed by gunfire early Sunday morning, and another was killed by a car fleeing the shooting, according to police. There were 14 total victims, including those who were injured. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that police believe there were multiple gunmen, and that an investigation is ongoing.

A storefront window with bullet holes.
A storefront window with bullet holes at the scene of a fatal overnight shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, June 5. (Michael Perez/AP)

A shooting at a strip mall in Phoenix killed a 14-year-old girl and injured eight other people early Saturday morning, according to the Arizona Republic. Police are also investigating that incident.

In Chicago, police reported that 16 people were shot, one fatally, in multiple shootings over the weekend, according to local media. The injured victims included a 6-year-old girl who was grazed by a bullet and a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the stomach and leg, according to ABC7 Chicago.

In Saginaw, Mich., police said three people were killed and others were injured in another shooting, according to WNEM TV5 News.

In Summerton, S.C., police said a suspected drive-by shooting killed one person and injured seven more at a school graduation party. Six of the seven people injured were between the ages of 12 and 17, News19 WLTX reported.

Summer weekends are correlated with spikes in gun violence in the U.S., as people are increasingly outside their homes into the late hours of the night. Memorial Day weekend also featured a spate of shootings, and like this past weekend, some took place at parties and other celebrations.

A fireman uses a hose to clean a sidewalk in front of a storefront in which bullet holes are visible.
A Philadelphia fireman washes blood off the sidewalk at the scene of a fatal overnight shooting on South Street. (Michael Perez/AP)

The recent shootings are especially notable in the aftermath of other mass shootings that have drawn nationwide attention and sparked new conversations about gun-related legislation.

In Uvalde, Texas, an 18-year-old gunman stormed into an elementary school last month and massacred 19 children and two teachers. Less than two weeks before that, an 18-year-old gunman killed 10 Black people in a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket, in what police labeled a racist plot.

Last week, a gunman killed four people at a Tulsa, Okla., hospital. The next day, President Biden gave a speech backing a suite of legislative proposals, including an assault weapons ban, so-called red flag laws, raising the age to 21 for assault-style weapons, increasing the liability exposure to gun manufacturers and expanding background checks.

It’s unclear which proposals, if any, could gather the 60 votes needed to clear an expected GOP-led filibuster in the Senate. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said Sunday on CNN that negotiations with his Republican colleagues are “serious.”

“I'm more confident than ever that we're going to get there,” he said on “State of the Union.” “But I'm also more anxious about failure this time around.”