AP NEWS

Philadelphia homicide rate hits high for decade; 355 killed

December 31, 2019 GMT

Philadelphia’s new police chief has a challenging agenda ahead that includes addressing the city’s gun violence and homicide rates.

Two shooting deaths Tuesday make 2019 the city’s deadliest year in a decade. Police say one man was fatally shot near Temple University Hospital and another in the Hunting Park section.

Police have tallied 355 slayings this year, two more than 2018. The count had fallen to about 250 to 275 homicides annually from 2013 to 2016.

Police say they’ve made arrests this year in just over half the homicide cases.

Separately, they say more than 1,450 people were shot in the city this year.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced Monday that he’d selected Police Chief Danielle Outlaw of Portland, Oregon, to lead the 6,500-member force.

Outlaw says she’s prepared for the challenge and calls gun violence a top priority.

Philadelphia, with about 1.5 million people, has more homicides than New York City, which has five times as many people but stricter gun laws.