Violent night with 10 shootings that included sleeping woman

Pictured is Bonnie Fenster a friend of Theresa Williams describing the bullet that grazed her friends head. Theresa Williams of the 5300 block of Charles St. in Philadelphia was grazed in the head from a stray bullet fired near her home in Philadelphia overnight Friday, October 19, 2012. She was taken to the hospital and released. (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer)
Pictured is Bonnie Fenster a friend of Theresa Williams describing the bullet that grazed her friends head. Theresa Williams of the 5300 block of Charles St. in Philadelphia was grazed in the head from a stray bullet fired near her home in Philadelphia overnight Friday, October 19, 2012. She was taken to the hospital and released. (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer)
Posted: October 20, 2012

Philadelphia Police responded to at least 10 shootings yesterday evening into today, marking a wild night throughout the city.

The spasm of violence began about 5:30 p.m. Thursday and ended with three dead and others wounded by early this morning - over a period of little more than eight hours.

Perhaps the most bizarre incident occurred in Frankford early this morning that ended with a 61-year-old woman being shot in the head with a stray bullet while sleeping in her bed.

A bullet meant for the victim of a robbery on Charles Street near Bridge just before 2 a.m. instead tore through the siding of a house and struck the woman in the head as she slept in a second-floor bedroom, Chief Inspector Scott Small said. 

When cops responded to the block, they discovered that the bullet -- which had been fired at a 28-year-old woman when she was held up by two men -- had somehow torn through siding beneath a window, drywall, a dresser in the older woman's room and her mattress before striking her, Small said.

Investigators said the bed was covered in the woman's blood, but that it appeared the bullet had slowed down enough by the time it hit her that it didn't hurt her as badly as it could have.

She was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital in stable condition and was having her head X-rayed for skull fractures around 4 a.m., Small said.

The woman was in bed alone at the time, according to cops. A caretaker who was also in the house was not injured.

The men police say were responsible for the shooting had pistol-whipped their 28-year-old robbery victim just prior to firing the gun at her after she refused to give up her belongings, police said. Before that robbery, according to investigators, the thugs had gone on a "crime spree" in the area, robbing at least four people and possibly carjacking a fifth.

Immediately after the shooting, police found the two suspects a few blocks away on Hawthorne Street near Harrison, Small said. Cops chased them and caught one man, who Small said had a gun, money, cell phones and a purse all believed to have been stolen during the robberies in his possession.

The second alleged robber ran to a house on the next block of Hawthorne Street and broke in trying to elude police, Small said. He had no connection to the people who lived in the house, and cops arrested him there. Police said he'll face charges of burglary for the break-in in addition to the charges for the robbery and shooting.


In other incidents:


In the first of the string shootings that began yesterday, two teens were shot, one critically, near 15th Street and Duncannon about 5:30 p.m.

Police said the teens, ages 16 and 19, were at 15th and Duncannon around 5:30 p.m. when shots rang out. The 16-year-old boy was wounded in the right leg, and the 19-year-old was shot in the back and both arms.

Both were taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center by medics, where the 19-year-old is in critical condition and the 16-year-old is stable.

Police were still investigating the shooting, and no arrests have been reported.


At about 9:15 p.m., two men were found shot, one fatally, inside a car in West Philadelphia late Thursday night, and cops were working to determine what led to the shooting.

Cops were called to the scene, at 54th and Ludlow streets, and found two men in their 20s suffering gunshot wounds inside a black Cadillac, Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

A 21-year-old man, identified as Raviya Roeuth, 21, of Philadelphia, was pronounced dead in the driver's seat of a gunshot wound to the neck.

The second man, 27, was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and remains in critical condition. Police said he was shot at least five times in the neck, hip and wrist.

The shooter was described as a man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans who was last seen running west on Ludlow. Police said they found spent shell casings inside the car, leading them to believe the shooter was inside the vehicle with his victims when he shot them.

Police believe the motivation was robbery.


However, while police were on the scene of that homicide, a call for an unrelated shooting in the district at 59th and Irving came in, Small said. In that shooting, a 24-year-old man was wounded once in the buttocks. He was hospitalized in good condition.


Police chased and arrested a man who they saw ditch a gun minutes after a man was fatally shot on a North Philadelphia street Thursday night, police said.

Police found the victim, a 26-year-old man, with gunshot wounds to his neck, chest, stomach, arm, both legs and buttocks lying in a vacant lot on 24th Street near Ridge Avenue shortly before midnight, Chief Inspector Scott Small said. He was rushed to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:59 p.m.

Small said 22nd District officers were in the immediate area when they received the call for the shooting and saw a man jump out of a vehicle at 24th and Montgomery streets, less than a block from where the man was shot. The officers chased the man and saw him toss a handgun as he was running, Small said. They eventually caught up with him, placed him under arrest and recovered the gun.

It was the second arrest in connection with a shooting made by Philadelphia police within minutes of the shooting itself on Thursday, after cops saw a man with a gun chasing another man he'd allegedly just shot in the city's Germantown section earlier in the evening and arrested him.

The 9mm semiautomatic handgun recovered near the 24th and Ridge homicide scene appeared to match the shell casings found scattered in the vacant lot where the victim was found, investigators said. The suspect remained in custody early Friday morning but was not yet charged as of early this morning.


A man was with his girlfriend and their 2-year-old child less than a block from a police district in Mayfair early Friday morning when police say two men brazenly robbed the woman and shot the man when he struggled with them.

The couple and the baby were in a rear alley on Mershon Street near Levick -- not far from 2nd/15th Police District headquarters at Harbison Avenue and Levick Street -- around 12:30 a.m. when they were approached by two men who grabbed the woman's purse, Chief Inspector Scott Small said. Her boyfriend fought with the men and was shot in the leg during the struggle.

He was taken to Aria Health's Torresdale hospital and listed in stable condition.

Not long after the robbery and shooting, Small said, police spotted one of the suspects on Mershon Street near Robbins, about a block away. They stopped the man, discovered that he had the woman's purse and arrested him. Small said cops did not find a gun on the suspect.

The second suspect remained at large early Friday morning. The woman and child were not injured in the incident.

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