North Philly quadruple shooting leaves 3 men dead, 1 critical

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Two gunmen lit up a troubled stretch of North Philadelphia on Monday afternoon, firing at least 20 rounds at a group of men on West Stiles Street. The gunfire left three men dead and another critically wounded, and police scrambling to identify the shooters.

The burst of gunfire happened shortly after 3:30 on the 1100 block. The location is just off Girard Avenue, about a block from the pre-K-through-eighth-grade St. Malachy School, which had to be locked down while police officers responded to the scene.

Police Capt. James Clark said the gunmen walked up to the group of men standing on the block, opened fire, and ran off, possibly jumping into a gray SUV waiting nearby.

Police did not identify any of the victims. One was shot multiple times in the head and was pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital. Another, a 31-year-old, was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital. A third died at a hospital overnight and the fourth victim remained in critical condition, police said early Tuesday morning.

Law enforcement sources said the area has long attracted police attention due to suspected drug activity.

Clark said it was too early to identify a motive behind the shooting, or the culprits.

“Right now we don’t know what we have,” Clark said. 

Homicide detectives said Tuesday morning that no arrests had been made. No descriptions of any suspects were available.

Late Monday afternoon, officers were marking the bullet casings, and an orange prescription pill bottle was on the sidewalk near where the victims had been.

Several homes on the block had Easter decorations in the windows, or toys on the front lawns behind chain-link fences.

Edward Smallwood, who has lived on the block with his girlfriend and four children for about three years, said they once heard shots right outside their windows.

“It’s too close to home,” he said.

He said neighborhood kids can often be seen playing in a small lot just feet from where the shooting took place.

“There are kids over there just getting out of school and this happens — they don’t think about that. Senseless, man.”

Staff writers Chris Palmer and Tommy Rowan contributed to this article.

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