Earlier today, I wrote about a mass shooting in Fort Worth and how, after Highland Park, I’d hoped to skip that today but that went out the window.
Well, it seems I’m having to be at it again.
Five people were killed in a Philadelphia mass shooting Monday night.
A heavily armed gunman in a bulletproof vest opened fire on the streets of Philadelphia on Monday night, seemingly at a random, killing five people and wounding two boys before surrendering, police said.
The shootings took place over several city blocks in the southwestern neighborhood of Kingsessing. Responding officers chased the suspect as he continued to fire, and he was arrested in an alley after giving himself up, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at a news conference.
“Thank God our officers were on the scene and responded as quickly as they did. I can’t even describe the level of bravery and courage that was shown, in addition to the restraint that was shown here,” Outlaw said.
No connection was immediately known between the victims and the shooter, she said. He had a bulletproof vest, an “AR-type rifle,” multiple magazines, a handgun and a police scanner.
Officers were flagged down at about 8:30 p.m., and multiple calls of shots fired came in from Kingsessing. Police found some gunshot victims, and as they were attending to them, they heard more gunfire, Outlaw said. Police later told Fox 29 that a fifth victim was found. He was chased into his home and shot to death. Bullet casings were found outside the home.
The suspected shooter was identified as a 40-year-old man. A second person was also taken into custody who may have returned fire at the suspect, but police did not know whether there was a connection between the two people, Outlaw said.
So, again, we don’t know all that much about what happened.
This one at least looks more like what we think of as a mass shooting than what we saw in Fort Worth, but that doesn’t actually mean all that much to those impacted by the violence.
This is, of course, the second significant act of violence that took place right before the holiday and I sincerely pray that today at least will be peaceful. We don’t need still more mass shootings, do we?
Now, what we have here is still legitimately troubling. A 40-year-old man in body armor and an AR-style rifle is pretty much what the media is going to salivate over in and of itself. Killing five people seemingly at random isn’t going to change that at all.
But we don’t know what was going on. We don’t know a motive or anything, which means this may not be a random act of violence but could, instead, be targeted. We simply don’t know just yet.
As the days and weeks roll by, we’ll probably find out a lot more about what this man was doing, if this second individual was associated with him or just an armed citizen trying to fight back, or what.
We’ll also see a lot more calls for gun control coming out of Philadelphia after this shooting.