On Monday afternoon, a 46-year-old man was shot and killed while he was canvassing for Philadelphia’s mayoral primary in East Germantown. The shooting, which occurred on the 2000 block of Church Lane, was caused by a dispute between the victim and a 22-year-old man who was also canvassing on behalf of OnePA, a progressive-leaning political group.
According to police, it is not yet known what prompted the 22-year-old to shoot the older man. The victim and the alleged shooter were said to know each other and began arguing after they “happened upon each other.” Police have not disclosed the identities of either person involved in the shooting.
The tragedy has shocked the city, especially as the mayoral and City Council elections are scheduled to take place in just one week. These elections have been largely defined by debates about public safety and the city’s ongoing gun violence crisis.
The Philadelphia Inquirer did report that both people involved were working on behalf of the progressive group.
Steve Paul, Executive Director of OnePA, expressed the group’s condolences and sympathy for the victim’s family. It is not clear if both canvassers involved in the incident were paid or volunteer workers.
The alleged shooter, who was legally in possession of his handgun, remained on the scene after the shooting and was taken to the homicide unit to be questioned by detectives. His car, which still contained OnePA pamphlets, was also found at the scene of the crime.
Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore stated that detectives are investigating the possibility that the shooting stemmed from an existing dispute. The accused shooter claims that he acted in self-defense.
The incident has reignited the conversation surrounding gun violence and public safety in the city. As Philadelphia prepares to vote for its next mayor, many are left wondering what impact this tragedy will have on the upcoming election.
As of now, details surrounding the shooting remain scarce, and the investigation is ongoing.