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On July 2, around 2 a.m., a woman in Philadelphia’s Kingsessing neighborhood placed an emergency call to report a shooting she’d seen through her porch door about 90 minutes earlier. She had waited to phone 911, thinking police would show up on their own; when they didn’t, she told 6ABC, she repeatedly called until she got on the line with a dispatcher. 

But officers never came. They had been sent to the wrong address, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, about three miles away, where they found no sign of disturbance. Less than two days later, officials say that the same shooter the 911 caller had reported returned to Kingsessing, armed with the same assault rifle, and went on a seemingly random gun rampage that killed four people — Da’Juan Brown, 15; Lashyd Merritt, 21; Dymir Stanton, 29; and Ralph Moralis, 59. New evidence from the Medical Examiner’s Office suggests that a fifth person, Joseph Wamah Jr., 31, who was initially counted among the victims of the July 3 attack, was killed in the previously reported shooting. 

The Police Department is investigating why officers were dispatched to the wrong location. But Kingsessing resident Keisha Carter, one of Wamah’s neighbors, told the Inquirer it’s “no excuse” that police were sent to the incorrect address. “He might not have made it out alive,” she said of Wamah. “But I felt like what happened [July 3], a lot of people would have been alive because they could have found out who did that to Joseph.”

What to Know Today

Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat and an avid gun reform advocate, announced his campaign to unseat U.S. Senator Ted Cruz with a four-minute video that begins in Uvalde, a city in his district where one of the country’s deadliest school shootings took place last year. [San Antonio Current] Context: After the funerals, Uvalde residents continue to pressure Texas officials to address gun access. It may become a fight that spans generations.

An Oklahoma judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking reparations and redress for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, in which gun-toting white mobs killed an estimated 300 Black people in a thriving community known as “Black Wall Street.” The suit was filed on behalf of the last three survivors of the attack. [NBC

Violent crime appears to be falling across most of the U.S. Is police reform playing a role in the decrease? [The American Prospect

New Orleans’s flagship violence interruption program is relaunching, after years of being sidelined and rebranded by the city. This iteration will be run by a local health system, not the city, and build on its previous model — which recruited credible messengers to mediate conflict within their communities — by adding long-term case management. [

Kansas City, Missouri, is “awash in firearms” and struggling to find solutions amid an increase in homicides. As the toll of gun violence mounts, a new group is pushing a ballot measure that would amend the Missouri Constitution and restore local governments’ power to pass their own gun regulations. [The Kansas City Star

How can faith leaders help to address America’s gun violence crisis? Pastoral resident Ashley Mason Brown argues that the first step is looking at the root causes of shootings. [The Presbyterian Outlook

In February, Jose Luis Garcia, a junior at Denver’s East High School, wrote a poem about his fear of becoming a victim of gun violence “just cuz you were at the wrong place at the wrong time.” He was shot that same day, during seventh period, and died of his injuries two weeks later. [Chalkbeat

We want to hear from you. The Trace’s Selin Thomas is looking to speak with people about firearm purchases. If you’ve ever thought about buying a gun, or talked to a family member about it, share your experience by responding to the appropriate questionnaire below:


In Much of the Country, Cities Can’t Enact Their Own Gun Laws: What you need to know about NRA-backed preemption laws, which limit local regulation of firearms. (December 2018)