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5 killed, 2 injured in Philadelphia shooting, police say

Police say a suspect with a semi-automatic rifle, a handgun, body armor and a police scanner opened fire and continued shooting as officers pursued him.
Police work the scene of a shooting on July 3, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Early reports say the suspect is in custody after shooting 8 people in the Kingsessing section of Philadelphia on July 3rd.
Police work the scene of a shooting in Philadelphia, on July 3, 2023.Drew Hallowell / Getty Images
/ Source: NBC News

At least five people were killed and two others, both minors, were injured by gunfire when a man wearing body armor opened fire in a Philadelphia neighborhood Monday, police said.

The injured were described as boys ages 2 and 13, who were stable at a hospital, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw said at a news conference. They suffered gunshot wounds to their legs, police said.

Two men were taken into custody, police said Tuesday. Earlier, authorities said that they believe they had the gunman in custody. The other man may have picked up a firearm and returned fire, police said at a news conference.

A police spokesperson said no formal charges have been filed.

Police work the scene of a shooting on July 3, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Early reports say the suspect is in custody after shooting 8 people in the Kingsessing section of Philadelphia on July 3rd.
Police work the scene of a shooting in Philadelphia, on July 3, 2023.Drew Hallowell / Getty Images

The suspected shooter is described as a 40-year-old man who had a semi-automatic rifle, a handgun, a ballistic vest and a police scanner.

He also had multiple magazines of ammunition, Outlaw said. She described the rifle as being in the style of the AR-15, a weapon initially developed for military use.

A motive was under investigation.

All of those shot were male. Police identified the deceased victims Tuesday as Lashyd Merritt, 20; Dymir Stanton, 29; Ralph Moralis, 59; Daujan Brown, 15; and Joseph Wamah, Jr., 31. They had all been shot multiple times.

Two other people, a 33-year-old woman and a 2-year-old boy, were injured by shattered glass.

Officers responding to the attack at 8:29 p.m. heard shots and gave chase, and the suspect continued firing, Outlaw said.

“He was actively shooting a firearm at the time,” she said.

He finally stopped when he was cornered in an alley, and he surrendered without incident, Outlaw said. She commended the first officers at the scene.

“I can’t even describe the level of bravery and courage that was shown,” she said.

When the shooting ceased, police found about 50 spent shell casings, Outlaw said. Multiple vehicles had been struck by gunfire.

Police believe that all of those shot were either on the street or in vehicles when they were struck, Outlaw said.

“At this point, we don’t see a connection to any of the victims and the shooter,” she said. She said police were investigating what happened and why.

Police had initially said eight people were struck but later revised the number to six. A seventh person was later found to have been fatally shot.

NBC Philadelphia reported that the attack took place in multiple locations. Outlaw said the area covered two blocks by four blocks.

Outlaw described gunfire at multiple locations. Officers were first flagged down in the area of 56th and Chester streets, and there had been calls about gunfire, as well, she said.

Officers arrived and found people shot. As they were preparing them for transportation to the hospital, she said, more shots rang out from up the street, at 56th Street and Kingsessing Avenue.

After police went there, more shooting occurred on nearby Frazier Street, Outlaw said. The foot chase was on Frazier, and it ended in an alley there, Outlaw said.

“The way it was described to me was that once he was cornered in the alley, the officers gave him commands to show his hands, and they were able to get him into custody without further incident,” she said.

Police later said a fifth person, a 31-year-old man, had been found dead, according to NBC Philadelphia.

The man had been shot multiple times and was found dead by his father inside a home, police said, according to the outlet.

Outlaw said detectives were working to “do everything that we can to figure out the ‘why’ behind this act.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted that he was horrified by the reports of the shooting.

“My heart is with the loved ones and families of everyone involved, and I send my prayers to the victims,” he said.

This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com.