North Philadelphia was home to another violent weekend, riddled with shootings around Temple’s campus.
On Friday night, just at 9:58 p.m., police say a young man, age 15, fired bullets into a car driving down Cecil B. Moore Ave, injuring two teenage girls and sending both to the hospital.
Nick Palomba, a senior Media Studies and Production student was sitting in a subway car when the bullets went flying above him on the street,.
“All of a sudden, about 5 or 6 officers, half in uniform, half in plain clothes, came running down the stairs and started yelling ‘stop the train,” he noted.
Nick and his friends were headed to Center City when they saw updates on their phones about what had just happened.
“We all took out our phones, everyone has that citizen app and of course, we saw that there had been a shooting literally right above us,” he said.
Later Friday evening there was another shooting reported near Diamond and Gratz streets, an area with off-campus housing. Then, on Monday, two more crimes were reported; an armed robber was on Norris street and a teenager was shot in the leg on Cecil B. Moore.
All of these acts of violence took place off of Temple’s campus, but still in areas that are heavily populated by students. For many, the violence is just another part of being a Temple student. Natalie Shoulberg, a senior film major, says that after 4 years, she has learned to live with it, “Usually when there’s an alert nearby, I just kinda stay in. I guess at this point I’m almost kinda desensitized because there’s been so many over the years.”
As the violence seems to be getting closer to the heart of campus, Kayla Mosseri, a senior who lives just blocks away from the Cecil B. Moore shootings, says Temple students need to change how they view themselves.
“I feel like temple students have this sort of immortality around them where they think that nothing bad is gonna happen even though that might not be true,” she said.
We reached out to Temple about the recent events and they sent back a statement that says, in part, “For Temple’s part, we are considering all options to protect the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and neighbors in North Philadelphia. Safety is of the utmost importance to the university, and every potential solution is a chance to ensure it for our community.
Nationwide, incidents are reaching levels that have not been seen in decades and gun violence is disproportionately affecting neighborhoods in Philadelphia that are the most disenfranchised.
Our university team, as well as the Philadelphia Police Department, say they are placing the full force of our combined resources into solving these recent crimes.
Temple and the City already increased police presence in the evening, especially on weekends. A young teen was already arrested for the two shootings at Broad and Cecil B. Moore.
Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey is set to begin his audit of all our services on April 1.
“We are continuing to work more closely with the Philadelphia Police Department on increased policing and surveillance in neighborhoods around campus. Already, response times are faster, police are even more visible, and the additional surveillance is leading to more arrests, though sadly, many of these reports involve young people,” Ramsey stated.
A suspect was arrested for the shooting on Friday night, and police are investigating whether or not he was connected to other violent crimes around campus.
Temple Update will have updates if any new information is released.