The Philadelphia murder toll so far this year is 327, says the Philadelphia Daily News. The number is down from last year’s 348. The latest victim: Tonya Goins, 34, a clerk at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who was found dead on the 3rd floor of her ex-boyfriend’s home.
Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said of the toll: “We’re 6 percent down. Hopefully next year it’ll come down a lot lower.” Elsewhere, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., have all registered a drop in homicides. The decrease here is of little comfort in the neighborhoods that continue to have the highest body counts and to the families who keep losing people. Johnson noted that more than 80 percent of the city’s homicides are by gun and that the city needs tougher gun laws. “There has to be some kind of legislation from Harrisburg on handguns,” he said. “The availability of guns in Philadelphia is really disgraceful compared to other cities.”