Juvenile crime explosion: Police arrest 16-year-old who shot officer in the head during a carjacking

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – A Philadelphia Police officer was injured by a graze wound to the head earlier in August while investigating a reported carjacking in the area of North Philadelphia.

The officer is expected to fully recover, and a juvenile suspect has been arrested in connection with the shooting. 

Authorities say on August 23rd at approximately 8:00 p.m., officers responded to a reported carjacking that reportedly transpired along the 2500 block of Aramingo Avenue. The victim of the carjacking had tracked her vehicle to 2300 block North Reese Street, which is where police arrived to search for the vehicle.

Yet as soon as the officers arrived on the scene, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw Said they immediately came under fire:

“When they responded to what they believed was…the victim’s vehicle, without warning the officers were actually shot at.”

One witness, Jalen Reynolds, described the sounds of the gunfire going off during the incident:

“Out of nowhere I heard like seven to eight gunshots consistently, and I was kind of like trying to decide if they were firecrackers or not. But it obviously wasn’t firecrackers.”

Officials believe that as many as two suspects were involved in the shooting, firing as many as 16 rounds before fleeing the area on foot. Commissioner Outlaw noted that a 28-year-old male officer with the 24th Police District suffered a graze wound to the head during the shooting.

Authorities say that no other officers were injured during the incident, with Commissioner Outlaw saying that the injured officer is doing well:

“He’s in great spirits, and again, glad to know that that he’s okay. What’s most troubling is not just someone was emboldened enough to shoot at a police officer, but someone was emboldened enough to shoot at a fully uniformed police officer and several marked units.”

Commissioner Outlaw is still taken aback by the brazenness of the crime, adding:

“So this wasn’t a question of were they sure of who they were. They knew that we were engaged in some form of an enforcement action. And they took this very brazen and very disrespectful, quite frankly, action by shooting at us and again we’re very fortunate that this officer is going to be okay.”

The unnamed officer who was injured during the incident was released from the hospital during the evening of August 23rd. He has reportedly been with the department for four years and is the son of a described “longtime homicide detective”.

Authorities arrested a 16-year-old male in connection with the shooting, which the unnamed juvenile is facing an attempted murder charge in connection with the shooting. No additional details have been released regarding the incident and investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.

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Back in July, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a troubling report regarding Philadelphia that doesn’t pose well for locals – noting that the city has one of the highest murder rates among large cities within the country. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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PHILADELPHIA, PA- As of Thursday, July 22nd, the number of homicide victims in Philadelphia in 2021 is up to at least 314 people, an increase of 35 percent compared to the same time in 2020. 

According to reports, Philadelphia now has the highest murder rate in the country per capita of the country’s 10 largest cities. The city has already surpassed many total-year tallies.

To put the statistic into perspective, in 2021, homicides-to-date, just six months into the year, are higher than the full year totals in six of the past 12 years. In June, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney blamed the city’s murder rate on how easily people could get guns and that has been a banner year for legal gun sales.

At the time, Kenney called on the federal government to solve the problem by enacting stronger gun-safety measures. However, according to the data, more than one-third of the shootings so far this year have happened in the same five zip codes in North Philadelphia.

The zip codes hit hardest by the gun violence are Hunting Park, West Philadelphia, Kingsessing, Kensington and Port Richmond.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has repeatedly blamed violence-plagued communities on current policing practices, claiming the policing practices have caused “traumatization of neighborhoods” and drove a wedge between law enforcement and the community they serve. 

However, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw stated that is not the case and that the police force has been doing everything possible to put a stop to the gun violence.

Both Kenney and Outlaw have tried to assure the public that they are doing everything they can to stop the bloodshed in the city. Outlaw said in a statement:

“It’s not secret that we’re experiencing one of the worst periods of violent crime in our city’s history.”

She added that the mayor was not wrong in his assertions regarding guns and pointed out that part of the problem was criminals using guns that were not commercially manufactured. She stated that most of the gun arrests made by her officers were on repeat offenders who already have open gun cases against them.

However, she added that those individuals are out wreaking more havoc in the community while they are waiting for their cases to move forward. Outlaw said in a statement:

“We need these arrests to stick. We need for there to be serious consequences because these folks have shown that there is no regard whatsoever.”

Her remarks point to Krasner’s failure to hold criminals accountable in the city since he was elected in 2017. The district attorney’s office says that from January 2021 to May 2021, of the 178 homicides reported to police, 36 of them, or 20 percent, have resulted in at least one arrest. 

Outlaw says that reducing crime is not just a job for police, but that the community needs to be involved as well. She said in a statement:

“It’s the people in the community who know who committed a lot of these crimes and if they don’t feel comfortable enough in coming to us and saying, ‘I know who did this,’ that tells me that we have to strengthen what we are doing internally.”

Reportedly, during summer 2020, Krasner announced a plan to fight back against a spike in violent crime by embedding prosecutors in police stations and not prosecuting many other crimes. He claimed that his plan would allow police to focus on bigger crimes, not marijuana possession, and improve community relations. 

At the time, Krasner said in a statement:

“The record of this office now and the record moving forward will make it very clear. You can decarcerate for non-serious offenses, which improves society, it improves prevention, while you simultaneously save the necessary hammer of law enforcement for those who are killing and hurting other people.”

Community activist Bilal Qayyum agrees that there is no quick fix to combating gun violence. His said that it is a tough situation that calls for tough measures. He added:

“If a shooting takes place in a certain neighborhood, you go in and you lock down that neighborhood. Now, that is not comfortable with some folks, but you close down the drug houses, close down the gambling houses.”

Outlaw stated that she is hopeful things will turn around, saying:

“There will always be hope. We will not live in fear. You know, I live here too and this will turn around because we are starting to see more and more people come together in solidarity. They are speaking up for their neighborhoods and saying, ‘No, this is not going to happen here.’”

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Criminals open fire on police officers responding to a triple shooting of teenagers in Philadelphia

(Originally published July 20th, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Philadelphia Police are currently investigating a shooting that wound up injuring 3 teenage boys in West Philadelphia, where responding police officers were also fired upon.

According to authorities, the shooting incident happened slightly before 11:30 p.m. on July 18th in the area of 53rd and Market Street. Officials say that an 18-year-old was shot in the leg, a 17-year-old was shot in the wrist, and a 16-year-old was shot in the buttocks.

When officers responded to the scene of the shooting, officials say that the officers were forced to take cover as an unidentified individual was reportedly firing in their direction. Officials noted that none of the officers on the scene returned fire.

As for the three teenage victims, they were transported to an area hospital and were last listed as being in stable condition.

The weekend in question was a relatively violent one in Philadelphia, as reports note that nearly a dozen people were injured by gunfire that occurred on July 18th.

One of those injured was identified as a 15-year-old boy that had suffered gunshot wounds to the legs in the Kingsessing area, which responding officers were said to have transported the child to Penn Presbyterian Hospital.

A 29-year-old man had also reportedly shown up at the same hospital, having suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. A 19-year-old gunshot victim also suffered a graze wound to the knee in a shooting that happened within the 5500 block of Malcolm Street just before 3:00 p.m. on July 18th.

Shortly before 5:00 p.m. that same day, a 16-year-old was shot in the thigh and a 23-year-old was shot in the wrist within the 200 block of Montana Street in Philadelphia’s East Mount Airy neighborhood.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., a 34-year-old man was shot within the 1600 block of West Seltzer Street, with authorities saying the victim is fighting for his life after being brought to Temple Hospital in critical condition.

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