Fewer shooting victims reported each month this winter in Philadelphia

Only four shooting victims have been reported in Philadelphia since last week’s outbreak left three dead and six wounded in about 11 hours. Altogether, we have counted 30 Philadelphia shooting victims this month at the Gun Crisis Reporting Project, but eight fewer fatal shootings than we had counted at this point last month.

Gunshot victim totals have been trending downward for several months in Philadelphia. We counted 62 victims in February, down from 84 in January and 95 in December.

At the same time, Philadelphia has been experiencing the second-snowiest winter on record, according to the Associated Press. And Philadelphia District Attorney recently tweeted: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Fewer shootings and homicides in Philly when it does!

Many major crimes were also “way down” in New York during recent snowed-in weeks, according to the New York Times, but a recent huffingtonpost.com report points out that studies conflict on the impact of cold weather on crime, and a 1990 study from British Journal of Criminology — recently shared by philly.com — concluded that it was not then possible to draw any firm conclusions about the relationships.

Although fewer people were shot during February, the rate of fatal shootings increased to 31 percent of total gunshot victims, up from 26 percent in January. Only 17 percent of Philadelphia shooting victims died during the first half of 2013, when 530 people were shot, 92 of them fatally, according to police data.

Homicides in Philadelphia are up by 27 percent year-to-date — with 52 victim reported, 11 more than at this point last year — but still nearly 30 percent lower than 2011 and 2012 rates, according to the latest phillypolice.com totals.

As we reported yesterday, more than 500 gunpoint robberies have been reported so far this year in Philadelphia.

Photograph above for the Gun Crisis Reporting Project by Joseph Kaczmarek: Police investigate the scene after two men were shot to death last month in the Olney section of Philadelphia.

Posted by Jim MacMillan