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Shots fired at moving vehicle near 49th and Spruce; driver critically wounded (updated)

Posted on 28 June 2015 by WestPhillyLocal.com

UPDATE (Monday, June 29, 10:15 a.m.): It appears that the shooting was not random, according to police, who said that the victim was involved in criminal activity. “200[th block of] S. St Bernard just looks like where he decided to do a deal that led to this,” said a police source.

UPDATE (11:25 p.m.): A man is in critical condition after he was shot inside a car he was driving on the 200 block of S. Saint Bernard Street, according to police. The car was going northbound on S. St Bernard when an unknown male exited from an alley and fired one or two shots in its direction, a woman who was a passenger in the car told police. The driver was shot in his left arm, but continued driving until he crashed the vehicle at 51st and Locust. He was taken to Presbyterian Hospital, according to police.

Police said earlier that the shooting took place on Sunday night, around 9:45 p.m.. West Philly Local readers reported heavy police presence near 49th and Spruce Streets and 51st and Locust.

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Trolleys diverted during shooting investigation at 40th Street portal (updated)

Posted on 09 April 2015 by Mike Lyons

UPDATE (April 10, 12:43 p.m.) Two men have been charged in the shootings that resulted in the lengthy shutdown of the 40th Street trolley portal late yesterday afternoon. A witness who was sitting in a South Philly park told police he heard several gunshots and saw two vehicles parked side by side near 25th and Wolf streets. The vehicles then fled in opposite directions. One vehicle was found at 40th and Woodland, near the trolley portal, with several bullet holes. A passenger in the car had been taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and is listed in stable condition. That person, a 22-year-old man, is under police guard at the hospital and faces firearms and other charges. A second man, 26 years of age, who police say was in the other vehicle was also apprehended and faces similar charges.

UPDATE (8:30 p.m.): Trolley service resumed around 7 p.m. with residual delays. There are conflicting reports about where the shooting took place. A car with bullet holes was found near the portal, and the driver was taken to the hospital. We’ll update when we have more information.

Several trolley lines were diverted at about 5 p.m. following a shooting near the trolley portal at 40th Street and Baltimore Avenue, according to police.

Philly.com is reporting that an argument between two motorists near 25th and Wolf streets in South Philadelphia ended in gunfire in West Philadelphia at the trolley portal. One person was reportedly injured and has been taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Trolley lines 11, 13, 34 and 36 in both directions have been diverted.

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Fund launched to help West Philly woman, shot eight times by her neighbor

Posted on 25 March 2015 by WestPhillyLocal.com

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Mary Pitts-Devine (from Linked In)

Mary Pitts-Devine, a 46-year-old West Philadelphia woman, is beating the odds. She was shot eight times by her male neighbor earlier this month. The shooting happened on March 8 at a three-story twin home near 46th and Spruce Streets, where Pitts-Devine and her attacker, 53-year-old Steven Outlaw, lived.

Since the shooting, Pitts-Devine – a LaSalle grad, entrepreneur, social worker and cancer survivor –  has undergone several surgeries and will need many more. To offset the gigantic medical costs, her family started a fund in her name on GoFundMe.com.

Here’s what her brother, Eric Christopher, wrote on GoFundMe:

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Mary Pitts-Devine with her brother Eric Christopher (from GoFundMe.com)

“Words can’t describe how I feel about my amazing sister Mary R Pitts. On Sunday, March 8, this wonderful woman of God was on her way to church when she was shot by a deranged gunman over 10 times! Eight bullets wounded her body. Two bullets struck her in the head one in the brain and one through the eye… Since March 8, Mary has gone through several operations to restore her body. She is making remarkable progress. Her road to recovery will be tedious and will include more extensive surgeries, substantial physical therapy, and professional counseling.”

Everyone who wants to contribute to the Mary R. Pitts-Devine fund and stay updated on the progress of her recovery, visit: www.gofundme.com/pg3s58

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Shooting victim, a LaSalle grad, entrepreneur and, social worker, remains in “very critical” condition

Posted on 09 March 2015 by Mike Lyons

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Mary Pitts-Devine. From Linked In.

The 46-year-old woman who was shot eight times Sunday morning by a neighbor who then shot himself remains in “very critical condition” at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, according to police.

Police say that Mary Pitts-Devine had an ongoing dispute with her male neighbor, identified in media reports as 53-year-old Steven Outlaw. They lived in separate apartments at 4530 Spruce Street in a three-story converted twin. Outlaw reportedly lived above Pitts-Devine, an entrepreneur, writer and former social worker.

The dispute culminated in Sunday’s shooting. Police recovered a handgun in Outlaw’s apartment that was registered to him.

Pitts-Devine, a 1997 graduate of LaSalle University, is the CEO and Founder of Prophetic Presentations, an artistic production company that is “speaking to the hearts of mankind via the arts,” according to its website. On the site, she writes that she has “a desire to help those trapped in the social ills of life, such as drug addiction, homelessness, disparity of all kinds, and severe family dysfunction. This burden stemmed from my brokenness I experienced as a child growing up in Foster Care.” On social media platforms, she writes that she is a breast cancer survivor and a kidney transplant recipient.

Neighbors have said that the dispute between her and Outlaw had been ongoing for about two years and that he had accused her of tapping his telephone line.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Ms. Pitts-Devine. We’ll update with new information when we get it.

Mike Lyons

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Police: Man shoots woman, himself in dispute over noise near 46th and Spruce (updated)

Posted on 08 March 2015 by WestPhillyLocal.com

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UPDATE (8:40 p.m.): The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that there was a history of tension between the man, who lived on the third floor of the three-story building, and the woman, who lived below him on the second floor. The man reportedly confronted the woman in the first floor hallway shortly before 11 a.m. and shot at her 10 times (she was struck eight times). After that he went to his apartment and shot himself.

UPDATE (4:52 p.m.): Police are now reporting that the shooting stemmed from a neighbor dispute over noise. The woman remains in critical condition.

UPDATE (1:10 p.m.): The female victim, 46, was reportedly shot eight times. She and the man who shot her and himself – he is in his 40’s – were taken to the hospital in critical condition. The man died a short time later from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, NBC10 reports.

UPDATE (12:20 p.m.): It appears to be an attempted murder-suicide, according to police. Police say that the woman was shot by the man, who then shot and killed himself. The woman is still alive.

UPDATE (11:43 a.m.): A male victim was brought out from a three-story twin home at 4530-32 Spruce Street on a stretcher, and CPR was being administered (pictured). He was put in an ambulance.

A woman was reportedly shot late Sunday morning on the 4500 block of Spruce Street. The shooting happened around 11:10 a.m. She was rushed to the hospital with unknown injuries. The block is currently closed to traffic. Stay tuned for more information.

 

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Pizza deliveryman shot by police in Cedar Park files suit against city

Posted on 13 February 2015 by Mike Lyons

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Philippe Holland

The 20-year-old pizza deliveryman who was shot several times last April by plain-clothes cops who thought he was trying to run them over near 51st and Willows in the Cedar Park neighborhood is suing the city.

The officers reportedly approached Philippe Holland, who had just finished a delivery, on the sidewalk with their guns drawn. They were searching for a suspect in an earlier shooting. Holland contends that 18th District officers Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey approached him as he was getting into his car and that he thought they were robbers. Farrell and Hanvey opened fire as he tried to drive away. Holland was struck in the head, neck and leg.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey apologized to Holland soon after the shooting. West Philly residents raised money for Holland’s medical expenses and more than 100 signed a petition asking that the results of the investigation be made public. It was hoped that the shooting might prompt more transparency in police shootings, which spiked in 2012 and prompted Ramsey to request a federal review of the department.

One result has been the posting of some information from officer-involved shootings online.

Here is what the posting on that site says about the Holland case:

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04/22/14 On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at approximately 9:56 P.M., two on-duty officers in an unmarked vehicle and in civilian attire heard gunshots in the area of 51st street and Baltimore Avenue. While surveying the area, the officers observed a male walking south on 51st street toward Willows Avenue, with his hands inside his pockets. The officers identified themselves as police officers and ordered the male to stop. The offender opened and entered the front passenger door of a Ford Taurus that was parked in the 5100 block of Willows Avenue. The offender positioned himself in the driver’s seat and drove the vehicle initially in reverse, and then forward toward the officers. In response, both officers discharged their firearms, striking the offender. The offender was transported to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for treatment. There were no other injuries as a result of this incident. No weapon was recovered.

Mike Lyons

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