Shootings and bloodshed on Father's Day in North Philly

Investigators process the crime scene on the 3200 block of N. Randolph Street in North Philadelphia, Sunday June 15, 2014, after two men were wounded by gunfire, one of them by an officer police said. According to police shortly before 3:30 p.m. officers in the area heard gunfire and when they arrived on the block two men were involved in a shootout and officers discharged their weapons striking one of the men in the shoulder, the other victim was not shot by police but was wounded in the first incident was listed in critical condition at Temple University Hospital. On the 3200 block of N. Fairhill Street police tape marked off an area around children's toys and a kiddy pool where the one suspect had fled from police on foot after being shot and a police K9 unit searched for evidence. (For the Daily News/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
Investigators process the crime scene on the 3200 block of N. Randolph Street in North Philadelphia, Sunday June 15, 2014, after two men were wounded by gunfire, one of them by an officer police said. According to police shortly before 3:30 p.m. officers in the area heard gunfire and when they arrived on the block two men were involved in a shootout and officers discharged their weapons striking one of the men in the shoulder, the other victim was not shot by police but was wounded in the first incident was listed in critical condition at Temple University Hospital. On the 3200 block of N. Fairhill Street police tape marked off an area around children's toys and a kiddy pool where the one suspect had fled from police on foot after being shot and a police K9 unit searched for evidence. (For the Daily News/ Joseph Kaczmarek) (Joseph Kaczmarek)
Posted: June 17, 2014

THE PARTY ENDED at Iris Ortiz's front step, where she sat, sullen, yesterday afternoon, her neighborhood filled with plastic markers for bullet casings.

There were dozens of them at the intersection of Randolph and Willard streets in North Philly's Ludlow section - after Ortiz, 18, and her family had to scramble for cover, abandoning the Father's Day festivities outside about 3:25 p.m. to avoid getting shot.

Police say one man at the intersection fired shots at another, striking him multiple times. When an officer from the 25th District arrived, he opened fire on the gunman, police said, striking him once in the left arm.

Both men were taken into custody and treated at Temple University Hospital, police said. No further information was available.

Ortiz said she believed that both men had guns, and that the men at the intersection were simply firing into the air in an odd Father's Day celebration. When police arrived, Ortiz said, the men pointed their guns at an officer.

Either way, it made for a lousy Sunday, and another reason to lament living in the neighborhood.

"I hate living here, sometimes. I mean, come on, it's Father's Day. There were kids out here," she said as police combed through the lot across from her home with a rake and baton.

In the surrounding blocks, however, the Father's Day parties continued unabated.

Confetti plastered the ground. The scent of barbecue filled the air. Children rode their bikes and played in kiddie pools placed in the middle of the street, their whole block cut off by crime-scene tape.

Everyone stayed inside at Ortiz's house, peering out the door from time to time. But just down a little alley beside her house, P.J. Vega washed a car as Christian salsa music blared from its speakers.

"It's safe. When it's two drug dealers and they have a problem with each other or something, then you watch out," said Vega, 53.

One neighborhood resident, Edward Rodriguez, 36, said he was in his basement when he heard 20 to 30 shots being fired.

"There was a whole bunch of gunshots," Rodriguez said. "You could tell it was two different people shooting at each other."

Officers on the scene declined to comment but combed the neighborhood. At least 39 plastic bullet markers sat on the street and a dirt lot, while another marker was placed on the front step of a corner store near Allegheny Avenue, where blood was drying.

"There were a lot of witnesses," Rodriguez said. "A lot of kids, folks."


On Twitter: @JasonNark

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