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At least 6 shot, including four teens, at graduation party in Southwest Philly

Stephanie Farr, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in News & Features

PHILADELPHIA -- At least six people were shot and wounded, one fatally, during a graduation party in Southwest Philadelphia Sunday night, police said, capping a brutal Father's Day weekend of violence that included 15 other shootings across the city.

The graduation party shooting occurred around 10 p.m. on 70th Street near the Finnegan Playground.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross told reporters at the scene that about 60 people were attending the party in an isolated area at the end of a road when a gunman or gunmen opened fire.

After some initial confusion about the number of victims, police said Monday morning six people were wounded, one fatally, in the shooting at the party. Police originally said eight had been shot but determined two people being treated at the same hospital were wounded elsewhere.

Ross said whoever was behind the shooting knew there would be a party and the intended target would likely be there.

"That is deeply disturbing to us that someone would resort to that, irrespective of what it was about," Ross said.

Four of the victims were between the ages of 15 and 17. Two men, ages 21 and 24, were wounded. The older man did not survive.

Initial investigations do not reveal that a fight preceded the shooting and there were no other indications of problems at the party, Ross said. It was unclear if there was one or more shooters or if the suspect or suspects fled by foot or in a vehicle, according to police.

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It's believed only eight or nine shots were fired, Ross said.

In total, there were 16 shootings across Philadelphia this weekend and 26 gunshot victims. Of those victims, four died from their injuries.

Ross said the department is "putting out additional people" and "ramping up patrols" but added that police need the public's help in solving -- and curbing -- gun violence. He said that the department will cull all available information to see if any of the weekend's cases could lead to a retaliatory shooting.

"We need people's help," he said.

(c)2019 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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