Kensington murder could be drug turf war

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another innocent victim has been caught in the middle of what residents believe is a million dollar turf war. Another life has been claimed and the violence was caught on a surveillance camera.

Police are looking for help finding the killers.

A large memorial of candles and other mementos mark the spot where condolences grew at the corner of Ruth and East Orleans. It was the spot where 25-year-old Christina Figueroa was gunned down in broad daylight.

She was described by residents as a popular young woman with many friends.

A surveillance camera captured fuzzy images of the killing that happened around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. She was shot in the head execution style.

Police say two Hispanic males, both thin build, were seen running away from the scene.

"I heard four shots on the corner and my wife screamed 'they killed my daughter,'" said Ceferino Guzman, the victim's father, through a translator.

After waiting for several minutes for an ambulance, police put the victim in a police cruiser and rushed her to the hospital in extremely critical condition.

She later died on Monday, a day before Valentine's Day.

The victim's father says his daughter was loved by everyone, and he doesn't understand why or who would do this.

"My lament is that they took something very dear to me. It hurts," said Guzman.

Some neighbors, who declined to appear on camera for fear of retribution, say she is the latest innocent victim caught in the middle of a dangerous million dollar drug turf war that has been going on for a while now.

There are three memorials, within a three block area to people who have been killed in gun violence in the last three weeks alone.

One resident says the 'City of Brotherly Love' is rapidly turning into a city of memorials.

"They should change its name from the 'City of Brotherly Love' to the 'City of Brotherly Hate', because that's what it's all turning out to be; a bunch of senseless hate," said Melvin Honesty.

Residents say many of them are living in real fear for their lives.

"Nobody feels safe," said Carmella Alicea. "Every time we step out that door, we don't know if we're coming back home."

"I think if anybody really knew what was going on, there would be a stop to it, like everybody just has to do their own part to try to make the best of the situation for themselves. It's hard out here; it's definitely hard out here," said Cliff Young.

Police say the suspects were last seen fleeing down Indiana Street in a white car, possibly an Acura or Honda.

Police are asking anyone with information that could lead to the killers to call the Philadelphia Police.

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