Homicide takes no holiday: 5 dead in Phila., Camden

Posted: July 05, 2007

Shootings yesterday and this morning in Philadelphia and Camden yesterday took five lives, including a 12-year-old boy and a 77-year-old man.

About 12:30 a.m., police found a male who'd been shot multiple times inside a vehicle at Belmont Avenue and Georges Hill Drive in Fairmount Park, according to Officer Raul Malviero.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by medics. His name and age may be released later today.

The death raises the city's 2007 homicide toll to 208, Malviero said.

Across the river, just before midnight, a 12-year-old boy was shot to death in Camden while in a car in a lot for the Branch Village Public Housing complex, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities later identified him as James Coleman, and said he had run away from home and was living mostly unsupervised.

Just before 3 p.m, an 18-year-old male was fatally shot in the face and body in the 6500 East Wister Street in North Philadelphia. Eric Williams, who lived about a dozen blocks away, in the 6500 block of North Bouvier Street in the East Oak Lane section, was taken to Einstein Hospital, where he died a few hours later.

At 10:46 a.m. yesterday, Edwin Diaz, 38, was found shot once in the head inside a house in the first block of East Ontario Street in Kensington, Homicide Lt. Phil Riehl said. Diaz was pronounced dead a short time later at the scene.

Riehl also said that police, responding at 4:32 a.m. to reports of gunshots in the 5600 block of Hunter Street in the Overbrook section, found 77-year old Cleveland Powell just inside the front door of the house. He was pronounced dead at the scene a few minutes later.

Powell, who had been shot once in the abdomen with a handgun, may have been the victim of a robbery, Riehl said.

Camden also had a lethal shooting Tuesday night.

Responding to a report of gunfire, police found a man on the ground in the city's Fairview section shortly after 10:15 p.m. David F. Brown, 51, had been shot at least once in the torso and was pronounced dead at Cooper University Hospital, police said.

The shooting occurred in the 1300 block of Alabama Road.

An initial investigation indicated that Brown was shot by another man in what may have been a robbery. No arrests have been made.

Inquirer staff writers Walter F. Naedele and Dan Hardy contributed to this article, which also contains information from the Associated Press.

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