The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fatal shooting near St. Joe’s campus as city faces widespread homicides


On the typically quiet 2400 block of North 54th Street, a 24-year-old man was fatally shot at around 1 p.m. on Jan. 12. The homicide occurred near St. Joe’s campus on a block where many long-time residents and students live.

The victim was sitting inside a Buick Lacrosse and suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. He was pronounced dead on the scene by a medic at 1:16 p.m. The car was parked just outside West-Side Baptist Church where community members were finishing up service when they heard the gun shots ring out.

The 2400 block, which parallels Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena on one edge of St. Joe’s campus, is home to many St. Joe’s students. Residents on the street said they heard approximately six continuous shots, and many peered from their windows or stood in their yards as police examined the scene.

Shortly after the shooting occurred, the Office of Public Safety and Security sent out an alert on the SJU Safe app that the individuals involved were not university affiliated and there was no threat to the community.

The following day, students with off-campus housing in the area received an email from Marci Berney, director of Student Outreach Support.

“I can imagine that hearing about this situation may have been very unsettling and stressful,” Berney wrote in the email. “I wanted to see how you are doing and also see how I might help and support you.”

The email provided students with resources such as Counseling and Psychological Services and information about requesting on-campus housing.

Gun violence has recently been reaching all parts of the city. There have been 25 homicides in the first 18 days of 2020 in Philadelphia. Last year, Philadelphia had the highest number of homicides since 2007.

Danielle Outlaw, who was appointed as Philadelphia’s new police commissioner this month, has inherited Philadelphia’s gun violence problems and has pledged to work to tackle the issue.

“I will work relentlessly to reduce crime in Philadelphia — particularly the insidious gun violence that plagues too many communities,” Outlaw wrote in a statement following her appointment. Art Grover, director of Public Safety, said he personally met with the 19th District police commander, Captain Robert McKeever.

“He pledged additional patrol resources to be deployed in the sector pertinent to this incident,” Grover wrote in response to questions from The Hawk. “In addition to that deployment, we have increased our daily deployment of police officers that we hire as part of our regular practice.”

Grover encouraged students to download and login to the SJU Safe app, adding that on Jan. 23 there will be a test of the university emergency notification system.

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