Pa. rep gathers West Philly neighbors to share stories, organize against gun violence

Tim Jimenez
November 28, 2018 - 7:10 am
Pa. Rep. Joanna McClinton

Pa. Rep. Joanna McClinton

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A concerned community got together Tuesday night looking for answers after a boy and two teens were shot in West Philadelphia earlier this week. 

Parents, community leaders and police officials met at Anointed Tabernacle of Praise in West Philadelphia. The triple shooting Sunday night happening near State Rep. Joanna McClinton's office. Her team organized the meeting last night.

RELATED: 3 boys shot in West Philly recovering as police continue investigation

"We're here tonight for one reason only," McClinton said. "To save our children."

And with violence happening so close, parents had serious questions.

"When my son's at a party — he's 21, and I ask: 'Is he next?' My 16-year-old — he's on his way home from basketball. I say: 'Is he next?'" she said.

Neighbors who attended had stories about loved ones, children, being the victims of gun violence. One woman listed her son's injuries from gunshots: one in the chest, two in the back, one in the arm and one in the neck. 

"He couldn't move for six months," she said.

The biggest questions demanding answers: What's causing the violence? And what can be done about it? 

Police officials at the meeting said there are disputes among some of the younger people in the neighborhood that get really heated.

Lt. John Walker told CBS 3 Eyewitness News the fighting and feuding among young people gets out of hand. 

"This has been a continuing fight between youth in the area. Anywhere as young as 12 to as high as 20," he said.

Another neighbor mentioned the need for everyone to step up and do something about the violence.

"If you see something, say something. But also, we know who got the guns," he said. "Get them out of your community."

Another man said the root of all this violence is a cycle of poverty, a sense of hopelessness that leads to people turning to violence and crime.

The gathering happened in response to a shooting Sunday night at 60th and Ludlow streets. An 8-year-old boy was in his house and hit with a stray bullet after police say one or two gunmen shot at a pair of teens, 15 and 16 years old. According to police, the 15-year-old is still listed in critical condition. 

Stray bullets also hit a car. The shooter or shooters are still out there, according to police.