Gunmen Kill 7 in Rowhouse 

  Gunmen Kill 7 in Rowhouse 

Posted by FoM on December 29, 2000 at 10:50:05 PT
By Barbara Boyer and James M. O'Neill 
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer 

Seven people were fatally shot and three were wounded last night when four men broke into a tiny abandoned rowhouse in West Philadelphia and unleashed a barrage of gunfire.At the scene, Deputy Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said he could not recall another shooting in the city with such a high death toll. 
Johnson described the abandoned house, in the 800 block of Lex Street in the Mill Creek section, as a possible crack house and said the shootings appeared to be drug-related. Investigators said they found drugs and drug paraphernalia inside the house.Johnson said two of the people found dead in the house were known drug dealers.Police were searching for four people, seen in masks by neighbors, who fled after the shootings.Six men and a woman were killed, police said, and two men and a woman were wounded.Initially, four wounded victims were taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, but one of the women died at the hospital of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. Among the survivors, one man was in critical condition with a back wound. The other man was in serious condition, shot in the groin and the leg, and the woman was in fair condition with leg wounds. Police did not make public the identities of the victims last night.Capt. James Brady, chief of the homicide unit, said the six bodies were found in the dining room. Shortly after the shooting, several people arrived in the neighborhood trying to determine whether their relatives were among the victims. Derrick Long said he rushed to the scene after police called to tell him his 18-year-old nephew, Tyrone, was among those killed."The family is trying to be strong," Long said. "We've got to. This was God's way."A woman who was with Long said that her sister was one of the injured taken to the hospital and that Tyrone Long was also her nephew."I wouldn't be surprised if this shooting was over drugs," said the woman, who did not give her name. "The sad thing is the shooters might be right here amongst us."Another woman rushed up to police, weeping."I want to see my baby," she said. Others, who waited more than an hour in the cold for some word from police, became confrontational with officers. One woman who rushed down the street collapsed at Lex and Brown Streets.The two-story brick rowhouse, its windows boarded up, is one of many abandoned homes on the narrow street that parallels 45th Street.The shooting was reported to police about 8:15 p.m. Thursday. Numerous patrol cars responded, and as they arrived at Lex and Brown Streets, neighbors gathered on the corner to watch. Others leaned out of their windows."It's a shame. Ten people shot at Christmastime," said Chris Williams, 35, a West Philadelphia resident who had been visiting relatives in the neighborhood and stood outside, watching as police swarmed the scene.Neighbors interviewed last night said they did not hear gunfire. The shooting took place just across from the now-empty Mill Creek public-housing high-rise, and about 200 feet from the Martha Washington Elementary School.Mayor Street arrived about 10:25 p.m., and Police Commissioner John F. Timoney showed up shortly afterward.Timoney said the mayor had instructed him to "spare no expense in uncovering who did this awful crime."Barbara Boyer's e-mail address is: bboyer Source: Inquirer (PA)Author: Barbara Boyer and James M. O'Neill, Inquirer Staff WriterPublished: Friday, December 29, 2000 Copyright: 2000 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.Address: 400 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19101Contact: Inquirer.Letters phillynews.comWebsite:

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