BY MENSAH M. DEAN & REGINA MEDINA As block parties and barbecues reverberated across Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend, so did something that is growing just as common in many neighborhoods: homicide. [wow, embarrassingly bad lede.]
Eight people were slain from Friday through yesterday, while the death of a ninth person, whose remains were found stuffed in a duffel bag in her home, was being investigated, police said yesterday.
A 20-year-old man was shot in the head yesterday morning in an alley adjacent to the M. Hall Stanton Elementary School in North Philadelphia.
The man, whose identity was being withheld until his family was notified, was found at 6:30 a.m. near North Mole and West Sergeant streets. Neighbors reported hearing gunshots between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., said Homicide Lt. Philip Riehl. Police had established no suspects or motives in the case, he said.
On Sunday at 5:10 p.m., police were called to a home on North DeKalb Street near Aspen in West Philadelphia, where they found the body of Ericka Harvey, 24, stuffed inside a duffel bag in a second-floor bedroom, said Homicide Sgt. Tim Cooney.
The victim, who lived at the address, was discovered by her father, who called police. Her family had last seen her about 11 a.m. Saturday, police said. As of last night, her death has not been ruled a homicide and an autopsy was scheduled.
With six of the homicides taking place on Saturday, it turned out to be one of the deadliest days in recent city history.
At 11:24 p.m., police found Gregory Paige, 18, slumped on a park bench at 33rd and Diamond streets with gunshot wounds in his torso and head. Paige, of the 900 block of Sanger Street near East Summerdale Avenue, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police were investigating whether he was shot during a robbery.
Police said about two hours earlier, Cornine Houston, 28, got into an argument with a woman inside a home on Reed Street, near Broad.
Houston stabbed the other woman numerous times before pushing her out a third-floor window, police said. Houston then went outside and kicked and punched the woman as she lay on the sidewalk, police said.
The victim, who was not identified, died at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital at 9:57 p.m. Houston, of Sansom Street near 47th, was arrested and charged with murder, police said.
At 4:01 a.m., police were called to Callowhill Street near 61st, in West Philadelphia, where they found Walter Divers, 27, sitting in a car with fatal gunshot wounds to his head. Police had no suspects and knew of no motive.
Near 31st and Norris streets in North Philadelphia, police found Julius Pickett, 24, fatally wounded at 3:10 a.m. Pickett had been shot in the face. No arrests had been made.
Minutes earlier, at 3:03 a.m., police found Terrel Davis, 24, on E Street near East Clearfield in North Philadelphia with fatal gunshot wounds to his head and back. No one had been arrested.
At 2:20 a.m. police responded to a double shooting at 38th Street and Haverford Avenue in West Philadelphia. A 17-year-old youth was shot in the hand. Germaine Jackson, 25, of Willow Street near North 39th, however, had been shot multiple times in the torso and died at Jefferson. Police had no suspects or motives.
The bloody holiday weekend got under way at 1:06 a.m. Friday near York and Garnet streets. A man in his 40s was shot numerous times in his chest and died at Temple University Hospital. A 28-year-old man survived a gunshot wound to his leg. Police were still looking for suspects in that case.
DAILY NEWS: For A Grand Total Of 294 Murdered In 2007