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Philadelphia Hits 300 Homicides Before End of August

Philadelphia reached a painful milestone Sunday when the killings of two men brought the city’s homicide toll to 300 for the year, the highest it’s been at the end of August since at least 2007, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Between 2013 and 2016, Philadelphia didn’t reach 300 homicides in an entire year. This year, the city has marked that many killings in the first eight months. According to the Philadelphia Police Department website, with data back to 2007, homicides are up 32 percent over the same time last year.

The last time Philly came close to 300 homicides by the end of August was in 2007, when 276 people were killed before the start of September, and 391 people were killed by year’s end. Philadelphia’s gun violence epidemic has not subsided this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, shootings risen to levels not seen in years, with as many as 30 people shot in one weekend this month. This weekend, at least a 15 men were shot, two fatally, in shootings across the city. The Inquirer  recounted the fatal incidents. In one, at 12:25 a.m. Sunday, officers responding to a large crowd at a street party heard half a dozen gunshots nearby and found a man shot dead at an intersection.