Philadelphia Shooting: Five Killed And Two Wounded After Man Opens Fire

[BBC] Five people have been killed and two children wounded after a man wearing a bullet-proof vest opened fire in the US city of Philadelphia.

The suspected attacker, a 40-year-old man who is now in custody, was carrying an AR-15-style rifle, a handgun, a police scanner and ammunition.

He has no known connection to the victims and, with no clear motive, the shooting appeared to be random.

Police were called to the city’s south-western Kingsessing area on Monday.

“When officers responded, they did identify and find some gunshot victims,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. “As they were scooping up the victims and preparing them for transport to hospital, they also heard multiple gunshots.”

Officers then chased the suspect on foot while gunfire continued to ring out, damaging parked cars and littering the streets with shell casings.

At about 20:40 local time (00:40 Tuesday GMT), police cornered the man in an alleyway. He surrendered and was taken into custody without further incident.

Police initially said four people had been killed and were all men aged between 20 and 59. The two injured children, aged two and 13, were taken to hospital and are in a stable condition.

But a fifth victim was identified early on Tuesday. A body was discovered inside a building in the same neighbourhood and the individual is believed to have died in the shooting spree.

“At this point, all we know is that this person decided to leave their home and target individuals,” Commissioner Outlaw said, adding that she had “absolutely no idea why this happened”.

“We’re canvassing the area to get as much as we can – to identify witnesses, to identify where cameras are located, and do everything we can to figure out the ‘why’ behind this happening,” she said.

Commissioner Outlaw said there could have been more victims had it not been for the officers’ actions.

Dozens of shell casings were found across a large area spanning eight blocks, which has since been cordoned off by investigators.

The suspect has not been named and police are still searching for a potential motive.

Another person was also arrested. They are believed to have acquired a gun and “returned fire in the direction of the shooter”, the commissioner said.

It is not clear whether that person has a connection to the gunman.

The attack on the eve of Independence Day came just a day after two people died and 28 were injured – about half of them children – in a shooting in Baltimore, Maryland.

Police there are still searching for multiple suspects who opened fire during an annual community gathering.

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