PHILADELPHIA (NewsNation) — An urgent manhunt is underway in Philadelphia after a fight between at least two men turned the entertainment district into a scene of terror Saturday night after they pulled out guns and began firing wildly, killing three people and injuring at least 12 others.
The shooting comes as the U.S. continues to grapple with mass shootings, with a string of gun violence resulting in the deaths of 11 people and injuries to more than 60 others in eight cities this weekend.
Although shootings across the country traditionally begin to rise with the approach of summer, the scenes over the weekend come as the nation continues to mourn the lives lost in mass shootings last month in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas.
The victims in Philadelphia’s shooting were identified as 34-year-old Gregory Jackson, 27-year-old Alexis Quinn, and 22-year-old Khristopher Minners.
Minners was a second-grade school advisor at Girard College.
Girard College released a statement after learning about Minners’ death: “The Girard College community was shocked and saddened to learn that Kristopher Minners, a current residential advisor and former student, was killed in the tragic shooting on South St. in Philadelphia Saturday night. An innocent bystander, Kris had just turned 22 and was celebrating with family and friends. He attended Girard College until 9th grade and since January 2022 has worked in the residential program advising 6th and 2nd-grade boys.
Police say all of the dead and wounded, except one, were innocent bystanders caught in a hail of gunfire.
The shooting happened on South Street, a famous Philadelphia drag known for its nightlife and vibrancy, which draws large crowds during the warmer months.
It’s also heavily patrolled by police, but that didn’t matter to the shooters.
Surveillance video captured the moment people started running for their lives when gunfire erupted.
Philadelphia police officers, already walking the beat in the area, heard the gunfire and ran to the scene. One officer noticed a man shooting into a crowd of people and fired several times at the suspect.
“The unknown male dropped his handgun on the sidewalk and ran,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Daniel Outlaw.
In response to Saturday’s shooting, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted: “The events that transpired last evening on South Street are beyond devastating. Once again, we see lives lost and people injured in yet another horrendous, brazen and despicable act of gun violence.”
Police believe that at least five guns were involved in the shootings; two of those guns have been recovered.
Philadelphia has been dealing with a rash of violent crimes it can’t seem to control.
So far this year, nearly 1,000 people have been injured in shootings, with almost 200 people dying, according to city records. Eighty-three of the victims have been children.
In 2021, the city set an all-time record with 562 people killed by gunfire.
Meanwhile, the sight of blood and bullets on city streets is becoming too common, and people here are begging for help and protection.
“We’re still using every resource available to get to the bottom of what occurred not just out there last night but behind this gun violence in this city period,” Outlaw said.
Police believe one of the gunmen may have been shot by an officer responding to the scene.