More cops to patrol Kingsessing after fatal shooting

Posted: October 09, 2013

THE LAST thing Kingsessing needs is more bloodshed.

So a bigger police presence will be keeping watch for the foreseeable future over the area around 54th Street and Florence Avenue, after a handful of trigger-happy thugs went to town there Sunday night, shooting one person dead and wounding five others.

"We have to make sure that there's not any retaliatory violence," Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday, "so we're shifting some [extra officers] out there."

Four or five men in hoodies walked up to a crowd that had gathered on the corner in front of the Los Papi Deli & Grocery about 7 Sunday night and started blasting away, said Homicide Capt. James Clark.

Devon Hatch, 23, was struck numerous times and pronounced dead at the scene. The five other victims were all in stable condition yesterday at area hospitals, Clark said. Their names were not released.

Clark said Hatch and some of the other gunshot victims had prior contact with law enforcement.

It's not yet known if Hatch was the intended target, or if anyone else in the crowd was as well. The motive isn't clear, either.

"[There are] different things we are looking at. There were a lot of previous shootings in the area," Clark said. "There was a previous homicide not too long ago in the area. But right now it's too early to tell if this had anything to do with that."

In all, investigators found 52 shell casings at the scene, and 72 pieces of ballistic evidence, Ramsey said.

"It's ridiculous," Ramsey said. "We have a lot of violent people in this city, and this serves as a reminder. But it could have been a lot worse."

On Twitter: @dgambacorta

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