Student tweeting monthly Philadelphia homicide analysis

Tracking Philadelphia gun violence every day has been an exhausting experience — emotionally as well as practically — for the team at the Gun Crisis Reporting Project. So, we find great inspiration when we meet others who are doing the same.

Last month, we discovered Brady Watkins, a 22-year-old Criminal Justice and Political Science Major who will be graduating from Mansfield University in December.

Watkins follows Philadelphia media reports each month, as well as online news archives and court documents. He breaks down homicide reports statistically, looking at the geographic area, time of day, day of the week, gender, race, age, weapon used, and whether the homicide was solved or unsolved.

Watkins says he is driven by the experience of losing three people his age to violent deaths during his senior year of high school in Norristown. One was shot to death at the age of 14 “just because he wouldn’t give up his iPod,” according to Watkins.

On the first of each month, Watkins shares the results on his “Philly & Borough crime” Twitter account @JohnDoeKnownomo, covering crime where he lives in Norristown, Pa., as well as in Philadelphia.

The project began two years ago when Watkins chose to examine Philadelphia homicides as the topic of for a research paper in his Statistics class. Since then, he has been following violence in the city on a daily basis.

Now, Watkins is looking back through decades of data, seeking patterns trends and correlations he hopes will be helpful.

Watkins has family roots in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Watkins says his grandmother “used to tell me how great the neighborhood was,” adding that he now wants to “help make it a better and safer place.”

After graduation, Watkins will be looking for a job in law enforcement in Philadelphia, or another job “that will allow me to help out the community.”

Watkins tweeted his preliminary October data Saturday morning. Some excerpts:

Check the account for more details from last month, as well as past and future reports:

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