More than 20 people in Philadelphia were wounded by gunfire last weekend, including two fatalities, but the city’s homicide tally is still on track to be the lowest it has been in decades, says the Philadelphia Daily News. The year-to-date homicide count of 195 is 27 percent lower than at this time last year, when the tally had already reached 267, and it’s 37 percent lower than in 2007, which ended just shy of 400.
As of the end of June, the city was on track to have the lowest homicide total since 1968. The number of shooting victims has dropped as well this year, with 889 reported as of yesterday, a 14 percent decrease from last year. Police are not declaring the year a success. “There’s still a long way to go. … We had 23 shooting [victims] over the weekend,” said Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman. “Historically, these last few months of the year are the months in which we really have to hold it down and make sure we finish the year strong. At any point in time, it can change.” Stanford attributed the statistical improvement decrease to police strategies in some of the city’s most violent neighborhoods, along with partnerships among the police department, probation and parole, the District Attorney’s Office and federal authorities.