PHILADELPHIA (AP) Five people were shot to death over a span of six hours on Sunday, three of them after an argument in a neighborhood bar, police said.
The deaths add to the city's escalating murder rate, on pace to be the highest in a decade.
Police said a man opened fire shortly after midnight at Abay Wheelers Bar in the Kingsessing section of the city, killing three and injuring a fourth man.
Arthur Joshua Jammal Jennings, 20, Claude Demetrius Snelling, 30, and Jamar Franklin Thompson, 31, all died of multiple gunshot wounds, said Jeff Moran, a spokesman for the city Medical Examiner's office.
A 37-year-old man was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in critical condition. Hospital officials later declined comment on his condition.
Police Sgt. William Gallagher told The Philadelphia Inquirer that all the vitims were shot multiple times in the chest and abdomen.
``It appears that whoever did the shooting, did so recklessly, and may have even hit some of his friends,'' Gallagher was quoted telling the newspaper. ``He fired off at least nine rounds inside the bar using a semi-automatic handgun.''
By Sunday afternoon, a small memorial of stuffed animals, balloons and signs sat outside the corner bar.
Another fatal shooting occurred in the Wynnefield section of West Philadelphia around 1:50 a.m., police said. Charles Tunstall, 23, no known address, was shot in the head and died a few hours later at a hospital, police said.
Around 4:55 a.m., an unidentified man in North Philadelphia was shot multiple times in the chest and pronounced dead half an hour later, police said.
The killings bring the total for the year to 232. No suspects were immediately arrested in any of Sunday's shootings.
Democratic mayoral candidate Michael Nutter said in an interview Sunday that he believed there had not been ``the kind of urgency and anger'' required to drive needed changes, including efforts to end the ``stop snitching'' mentality.
``The bottom line is we have to get guns off the streets ... redeploy our police officers to the most critical hot spots in the city but also drive a new mind-set and culture 'Stop, think and don't carry,''' Nutter told WCAU-TV's Live@Issue program."
At long last, proof positive that it's the guns that are doing the deed, and not the murderers. Why, there'd be no violence at all if the guns would only stay home. Lock them indoors, come up with a catchy slogan when needed, and all will be well.
Strangely enough, the ethnicity of the dead and who deaded them goes unmentioned. The names of the unfortunate men slaughtered at Abay Wheelers Bar are a dead giveaway, if you'll pardon the play on words, so a thinking person might so infer that staying away from such venues and the people who frequent them might be wise. Then again, it's the gun's fault and not that of the shooter, so strike the above and just Don't Carry.
Still and all I can't help but feel that keeping the bad guys off the streets would be better. Guess thats why I'm unfit to run for Mayor. Many, many other cities have as many if not more people carrying guns and none of this seems to happen. I'm beginning to get the impression that guns raised in NY, LA, Chicago, and Philly are far more deadly than anywhere else. Can't be the people.