Another Weekend With Philly Leaders Pleading For Change As Gun Epidemic Trends Younger

Dan Koob reports.

Video Transcript

- Put the guns down.

- Put the guns down.

- Put the guns down.

- Put the guns down.

- Put the guns down.

- Well, you heard it right there-- that pleas, put those guns down. Tonight, community leaders, elected officials, and neighbors are saying enough is enough, as the number of gun violence victims continues to rise at an historic pace. Last night, it was an 11-year-old boy who was murdered, a 14-year-old also wounded when someone shot them while they were riding bikes.

And hours later, a mass shooting at a Philadelphia social club in Fishtown left seven people hospitalized. Tonight, we're learning more about the boy who was killed and what leaders are doing to put an end to this unthinkable violence. Dan Koob with our report.

DAN KOOB: A rally for actual change in South Philly.

- You know, they be enemies on the street, and they wound up neighbors in the graveyard.

DAN KOOB: Thomas B. Smith Playground, the latest backdrop as Philadelphia continues to grip with a gun violence epidemic that's trending younger by the day. Friday alone saw seven shot in Fishtown and a child killed in the northeast, identified as 11-year-old Harley Belance. No arrest has been made.

KENYATTA JOHNSON: We want to send a clear message, a clear message, to every person who picks up a gun and decides to take another person's life, it will not be tolerated.

DAN KOOB: Councilman Kenyata Johnson hosted. His office says he hopes to gather community input to present to city council that will put more police at rec centers, update security cameras, and increase budgets to invest in violence protection programs.

ANDREA CUSTIS: That is because they have no hope. They don't value their own lives. And so what does it mean?

You shoot a gun. You kill a person. It's that trite because they don't believe that they'll live past a certain age. So there's-- there's not hope in the community that it will be better. They hear people say things, but the action never comes to fruition.

DAN KOOB: 114 homicides in Philly this year as of midnight Saturday, according to police statistics. A sharp increase of 30% from a record-breaking year that saw 499 people murdered in 2020.

KENYATTA JOHNSON: We have to do more. We have to make sure that the budget process, we are giving young people the opportunity to have resources.

DAN KOOB: Hopefully, before it's too late.

ANDREA CUSTIS: I don't want us to get numb. I want us to say one life is so important, and we've got to stop this.

DAN KOOB: Dan Coop, "CBS 3" Eyewitness News.