Just days after a shooting at a busy Philadelphia intersection wounded eight people, another mass shooting has occurred in an outer suburban area of Philadelphia.
Police say Jamel Barnwell, a 17-year-old black male from West Philadelphia, fired fifteen shots from a 45 inside a bowling alley in East Norriton. Five people got shot, one of them fatally. The shooting occurred Saturday, February 20th.
During the shooting, parents smashed windows and hurled their children outside. The suspect turned himself in Sunday night.
Some clickbait-style websites report that the shooting occurred in a white neighborhood and could have been racially motivated. The bowling alley is on the border of Norristown and East Norriton. While East Norriton is primarily white, the much larger Norristown is less than 30% white. The bowling alley is inside census tract 203303, which was 76% white in the 2010 census. However, the surrounding area as a whole is probably only about half white. Bowling allies usually attract customers from a large area, not just the immediate vicinity.
The names of the victims are Frank Wade (deceased), Shamir Jones, Yahnirr Brooks, Ahmir Simmons, and Robert Oliver. Frank Wade is also a resident of the city of Philadelphia.
This website is tracking mass shootings for 2021.
The previous mass shooting occurred on February 16th. Someone opened fire in front of a North Philadelphia SEPTA station with pedestrians all around him. Bullets hit eight people, ages 17 to 71. A black male suspect, who was openly holding a gun, was tackled by plainclothes police and taken into custody. Police say that a second person was arrested and charged with having an illegal gun at the scene. Police are still unsure if there was just one shooter or two shooters. They are asking for more witnesses to talk to the police.
As of February 18th, Philadelphia has seen 74 homicides, a 40% increase over the same period in 2020. There have also been 215 non-fatal shootings.
Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner, whose campaign was heavily funded by George Soros, gave a press conference this afternoon and repeatedly blamed “the pandemic” for Philadelphia’s surging homicide rate. Krasner also used the press conference, which was supposed to be about the SEPTA station mass shooting, as an opportunity to attack Donald Trump as a “superspreader” of Covid-19.
Krasner’s critics blame him personally for two recent murders because of his stated goal of reducing the number of people in custody. In both cases, the murder suspects had been recently shown great leniency by Krasner’s office and released back on the streets.