February 23, 2023
PHILADELPHIA-- "Once again, the devastation of gun violence continues to traumatize our communities. It should be unfathomable that outside of one of our schools, as an event was letting out, [seven] people--including a toddler and [five] teens--were shot. But of course, it is anything but unfathomable. It should horrify us all, but it should shock none of us.
"This week, two women were gunned down in separate shootings. On Tuesday, two teens were shot walking home from school. Over the weekend, Temple University Police Officer Christopher Fitzgerald's life was cut violently short. And in fact, as of yesterday, there have been 191 shootings (49 fatal) this year alone.
"While I’m so thankful to learn that the [seven] individuals (as young as two years old) shot this evening are in stable condition, I’m once again enraged that this unrelenting scourge of gun violence is our ever-persistent reality. Our team has been in touch with the school building representative as well as District administration to ensure that supports will be available for the school community.
"I imagine the sheer terror of the families of those injured and the lingering trauma this event will engender for every person who witnessed or was impacted by tonight's shooting outside of Blaine.
"Just a few weeks ago, a shooting took place near the school around dismissal time that was witnessed by several staff members.
"Our schools must be safe. Our schoolyards must be safe. Our children's walks to and from school must be safe. Our communities must be safe. While we must do everything in our collective power to ensure that our schools and communities at large are safe, we cannot do this without real, systemic change to our commonwealth's gun laws.
"The unfettered access to firearms continues to traumatize far too many in our beloved city and across our nation.
"Our children need and deserve so much better."
Statement updated following updated news reports of an additional person shot during this horrific incident.