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March 30, 2021

Man fatally shot while filming video on Philly's gun violence problem

The city recorded 499 homicides last year — the highest total in three decades. And they're up again in 2021

Investigations Shootings
Philly Video Shooting Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

A 55-year-old man working for a production company was fatally shot in Philadelphia while interviewing a family whose children were victims of gun violence.

A man who was working on a video production about Philadelphia's gun violence problem was shot and killed Monday night when he stepped outside a Strawberry Mansion residence to get additional film equipment, police said. 

The 55-year-old, whose name has not been released, had been recording interviews inside a private home prior to the shooting. The footage was slated to stream on Netflix, 6ABC reported

Police were called to the residence around 8 p.m.

"They were interviewing and filming some family members whose children were victims of gun violence in the last two to three years," Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told 6ABC. 

The victim was shot multiple times when he left the residence to get more equipment from his car, police said. A bag full of production equipment and two cell phones were found on the sidewalk.

The man was transported to a hospital where he later died. Police said the shooting is still under investigation and the motive of the shooting is unclear.

"We don't know if it was robbery, if his wallet and money were taken," Small said.

The shooting marks Philadelphia's 117th homicide of the year. Homicides are up 26% from last year, when 499 were reported — the highest total since the city recorded 500 homicides in 1990. 

Earlier Monday, a 21-year-old man was fatally shot in the food court of the Philadelphia Mills mall, prompting a lockdown. Police said the shooting occurred after a fight. Witnesses said they heard about 20 gunshots. No other injuries were reported but the perpetrator is still at large. 

The shooting came on the eve of a City Council special committee hearing to examine the city's strategic plan to address gun violence. That meeting began at 10 a.m. Tuesday. 

Earlier this month, council passed a resolution to establish an anti-gun violence hotline that would link residents to resources and services in the city.

Last week, councilmember Kenyatta Johnson introduced a resolution calling on social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to scrutinize posts for messages tied to gun violence. He said people on social media are amplifying their arguments and moving to gun violence to settle them. 

"They post the homicides," Johnson said during a council meeting. "They post the shootings. People get barred from social media for a lot less than this. We're asking the social media companies to do some responsible monitoring of their sites."

Councilmember Curtis Jones Jr. sponsored a resolution supporting the "Live and Let Live" campaign to eradicate the culture around gun violence.

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