Highlights

  • Three killed and 11 injured in Philadelhpia shooting
  • Police suspect multiple shooters are involved
  • Rise in shootings in the US in recent weeks

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US shootings: three killed, 11 injured as multiple shooters open fire in Philadelphia

An officer shot at one of the suspects from about 30 feet (9 meters) away, but it was unclear if the suspect was hit

Three people died and at least 11 were wounded in a shooting late Saturday night in US city of Philadelphia, authorities said.

According to police, officers were patrolling the area on South Street in downtown Philadelphia when they heard multiple gunshots and witnessed several suspects firing into a large crowd just before midnight.

An officer shot at one of the suspects from about 30 feet (9 meters) away, but it was unclear if the suspect was hit.

According to the police, there were hundreds of individuals on South Street, a regularly busy street during weekends, before the shooting broke out.

South Street is known for its entertainment venues and night life with multiple bars, restaurants and businesses.

Among the victims were two men and a woman whose names were not immediately made public by authorities. The conditions of those who were wounded by gunfire remained unknown.

Bystander Joe Smith, 23, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that his mind had flashed to the recent incidents when he heard the first shots ring out on Saturday.

"Once it started I didn't think it was going to stop," he told the outlet.

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"There was guttural screaming," he added. "I just heard screams."

Another witness, Eric Walsh, described to the Inquirer scenes of people fleeing the shooting "coming off the street with blood splatters on white sneakers and skinned knees and skinned elbows."

The Inquirer reported that another person was fatally shot just blocks from the scene about two hours later, but police said that the two incidents were not believed to be linked.

Two handguns were recovered, including one with an extended magazine, but no arrests had been made. A post on the official police department on Twitter advised people to avoid the area.

The US has been rocked by a series of high-profile shootings in recent weeks, including at a school in Texas, a church in California, a grocery store in New York and a hospital in Oklahoma. The incidents have collectively left dozens dead.

During warmer months, gun violence tends to spike in the United States, where there were an estimated 393 million guns in circulation in 2020, more than the number of people.

US President Joe Biden last week forcefully called for new gun control legislation in response to the recent violence, lamenting the "everyday places that have become killing fields, battlefields here in America."

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