Not even a swarm of police stopped gunmen from trying to settle a dispute with a hail of gunfire on the streets of Frankford early last Thursday in a scene that has become increasingly familiar to neighborhood residents this month.
Detectives believe that a pair of nonfatal shootings that occurred about three blocks and mere minutes apart are connected to a common dispute, although they have been getting few if any details about the incidents from two wounded men. Specific motives are not known.
Gunfire first erupted at about 12:10 a.m. near the intersection of Darrah and Fillmore streets, said Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum of Northeast Detectives. A short time later, a 22-year-old man showed up at the emergency room of Aria Health-Frankford with a wound of the right hip. He was treated and released. A police commander at the crime scene reportedly told the news media that some 15 empty shell casings from multiple guns were found on the ground nearby.
As many police were still guarding and investigating that scene, more shots rang out at 12:41 a.m. near Frankford Avenue and Margaret Street, Rosenbaum said. Police rushed to that scene and found a 20-year-old man suffering from a wound of the thigh. He was taken to Aria Health-Torresdale and listed in stable condition.
The 20-year-old was initially uncooperative with investigators while the 22-year-old said he didn’t see who shot him, Rosenbaum said. There have been no arrests.
According to media reports and the Gun Crisis Reporting Project, there have been at least three other shootings — including two that were fatal — in Frankford this month. On June 3 near Akron and Pratt streets, one 25-year-old man was shot fatally and another 25-year-old wounded in the leg by a volley of shots fired at about 9:45 p.m. Surveillance equipment recorded two men fleeing the area westbound on Bridge Street. There have been no arrests.
On June 6, police were called to the 5000 block of Darrah St. at 11:46 p.m. and found Terrell Purdy-Blue, 25, of Yeadon, on the ground with numerous gunshot wounds of the chest, back, arm and legs. He was pronounced dead at Aria Health-Torresdale at 12:15 a.m. Police reportedly found 15 spent shell casings at the scene. There have been no arrests.
On June 8 at about 12:15 a.m., a 20-year-old man was wounded multiple times in the legs in a shooting near Bridge and Charles streets. He was hospitalized at Aria Health-Torresdale. No arrests have been made.
In addition, an ominous gun-related incident occurred on July 7 at a charter school at Harbison Avenue and Jackson Street in Wissinoming. According to Rosenbaum, a worker was inside the Walter D. Palmer Leadership and Learning Partners Charter School, which is closed for the summer and under renovation, when he discovered a loaded “machine pistol” inside a student locker.
School officials told detectives that the locker in question was not assigned to a student last academic year, which concluded on June 25. Police are tracing the weapon’s ownership history and performing forensics tests. The results are pending. ••