Police: Domestic violence fueling rising gun deaths among women in Philadelphia in 2021

Thirty-five of the 60 deaths so far this year are ‘domestic in nature,’ officials said. That’s almost double last year’s numbers

By: - November 11, 2021 10:27 am

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw joins Mayor Jim Kenney, far left (Philadelphia Tribune photo).

By Brian Saunders

PHILADELPHIA — Homicides involving female victims are on the rise in Philadelphia.

At a virtual response to the city’s gun violence hearing, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and Chief Inspector Frank Vanore highlighted the increase in both overall and domestic-related female-involved killings in 2021.

According to Vanore, there was a total of 40 female homicide victims all of last year. However, from the beginning of this year to Nov. 8, there have already been 60 such incidents.

“Homicides this year compared to last year when we look at crimes against women or females, we’re seeing a significant spike,” Vanore said.

“Many of those motives are domestic in nature,” he continued. “Last year, 40 females were murdered. We are at 60 and 20 of those motives we have discerned to be domestic in nature. It’s a significant spike, and we’re looking at it closely to see how we can be proactive and stop it with our partners.”

So far this year, we've experienced 35 domestic-related homicides in our city. Tragically, we've almost doubled last year's numbers.

– Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw

One of those incidents contributing to the increasing threat of violence on women was shooting on Sunday; a 28-year-old woman was shot multiple times on the 800 block of East Willard Street. The suspect has not been arrested.

Last Thursday, Nov. 4, another incident involving women occurred during the evening at 1937 Ridge Ave. Unfortunately, the victims, 31-year-old Irene McNair and 56-year-old Constance Marshall, were pronounced dead at the scene.

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Vanore also highlighted a nonfatal domestic shooting that occurred on Oct. 28. A 29-year-old woman was found on the highway after police responded to a call about a man on Welton Street with a gun.

“Last year in all of 2020, There were a total of 18 domestic homicides in Philadelphia,” Outlaw said.

“So far this year, we’ve experienced 35 domestic-related homicides in our city. Tragically, we’ve almost doubled last year’s numbers. While it’s true that these incidents have started to turn down in recent months, one is too many, and all of us here today must remain committed to stemming this tide of violence,” she continued.

Outlaw also said that the police department is urgently hiring for the position of Police Officer Recruit, and the open application will close Nov. 30.

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“I encourage anyone who is interested in applying and has questions about what to expect as a Philadelphia officer to sign up for our chat and chew event that’s taking place on Nov. 18 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” Outlaw said.

Deputy Police Commissioner Joel Dales updated some gun violence-related statistics Wednesday. So far this year, Philadelphia has had 471 homicides, 12% higher than the year-to-date total in 2020. According to Dales, over the last week, which spans Monday, Nov. 1 to Sunday, Nov. 7, there were 13 homicides and four shooting victims.

“Shooting occurrences as an incident count where an individual or individuals were shot,” Dales said. “So we’re counting the numbers of incidents, not the number of shooting victims.”

While homicides are steadily at a 12% increase over last year, the pinpoint areas of concentration throughout the city have decreased 2% from 192 to 188 homicides.

According to Dales, while shooting victims have increased overall by 5% to 1,995 from 1,901 in 2020 at this time, the pinpoint areas total shooting victims have decreased 17% from 941 to 785.

“We are seeing a steady decline in shooting victims from Sept. 27 to Nov. 7,” he said.

Brian Saunders is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared

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