WHYY Online Special
During a week in which WHYY brought you a number of special programs about violent crime in Philadelphia, the murder rate continued to climb at a terrifying rate. While we discussed the causes behind and possible solutions to this epidemic with experts in criminology and public health, 14 more Philadelphians lost their lives to violent crime. Most of them fell victim to gunshot wounds in one of the deadliest weeks of the year. Even as we heard the tragic stories from family members who lost loved ones, more families were being devastated by losses of their own.
As of midnight on October 5th, 309 Philadelphians have fallen victim to murder in 2006. Lest we fall into the trap of thinking about these as just statistics, here are the names of just some of the people who were killed just this week:
- Kareem Murray, 19, was shot multiple times in the abdomen about 5 p.m. on October 5th.
- Alfred Quitman, 23, of 15th Street near Bristol in Nicetown, died of a gunshot wound to the chest after an attempted robbery and carjacking on October 4th.
- Bryan Motley, 22, of Moreno Valley, Calif. was shot once in the head on Saybrook Avenue near 63rd Street on the evening of October 3rd.
- Lenwood Robinson, 76 was stabbed 14 times in his sixth-floor apartment at Presbyterian Homes on 58th Street near Greenway Avenue sometime on the night of October 4th or morning of October 5th.
- Jaysar Norville, 5 months old, died on October 3rd at 11 a.m. at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia after being severely beaten.
- Kyle Brown, a 17-year-old sophomore at Benjamin Franklin High was with friends at about 8:30 p.m. on October 3rd when bullets struck him in the shoulder. He died less than 30 minutes later at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
The mayor, the police commissioner, and various community groups have been grappling with the increase in murders and gun violence for several months.
But it's about more than the numbers. It's about people and ultimately it's about our community.