Chester under State of Emergency due to shootings
Chester, Pa. - June 19, 2010 (WPVI) -- In response to the ongoing deadly violence, the city of Chester is declaring a State of Emergency.
At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Mayor Wendell Butler declared he had enough and it is time to take action.
"We need law enforcement to step up, to vigorously go after any violator; our number one priority is to get guns off the street then drugs and try to make our neighborhoods as safe as we possibly can," Butler said.
The State of Emergency took effect 9:00 p.m. Saturday.
From 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each day in the five areas of the city, no person without a legitimate reason is allowed in any public street or place, no assembling of three or more people is allowed without a permit, and all vacation and personal days by members of the Chester Police Department have been cancelled immediately.
The Chester Police Department will be assisted by State Police, the District Attorney's Office, and the Delaware County Sherriff.
Patrol units will be covering the five sections of the city.
The State of Emergency affects the following areas:
All areas bounded by the west side of Lamokin Street to the city's western boundary
All areas of the city bounded by 9th Street, Morton Avenue, and the city's eastern boundary.
All areas bounded by the east side of Egdemont Avenue to Upland Street between 20th Street and 2701 Madison Street.
All areas bounded by Crosby Street and the city's boundary with Upland Borough between 12th and 14th streets.
All areas bounded by Penn Street and Parker Street between 3rd and 6th streets.
The State of Emergency is set to last five days.
Mayor Butler says he is going to City Council to ask for an extra 30 days.
Even in this tough economic time, he says money is no object.
"I'm not worried about money, if I have to break the bank, I'll break the bank," Butler said, "The residents and visitors to my town are just vitally important to me, you can't put a dollar amount on that."
The State of Emergency is being issued following another homicide that took place overnight.
Authorities responded to the 400 block of Rose Street Friday night for reports of shots fired in the area.
Police were unable to locate a victim. However, at around 8:00 a.m. Saturday, they found the body of a male in his 20's.
He had multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.
There is no word on a suspect.
This fatal shooting was the fourth homicide in 8 days. Chester's 11th of 2010.
The first of the four claimed the life of 26-year-old Raymar Holmes he was shot on the 1300 block of Crosby Street last Friday.
Then, early in the morning last Sunday, police say a gunman fired several shots through the door of a family's apartment on the 1200 block of West 9th Street as they were returning home from visiting relatives.
2-year-old Terrence Webster, Jr. was struck in the head and killed. His mother and father survived, but were shot in the leg and hand respectively.
This past Tuesday night, on the 2700 block of Lehman Street, 22-year-old Yadullah Muhammed was murdered after police say someone opened fire on his parked car.
This past Thursday, parents of children lost to violence came out for the Mayor's Night Out.
One grieving mother, Stephanie Brown, held a picture of her son who was a victim of gunfire in Chester.
"I got to bury my son on his first Father's Day and he was just 22. He didn't have a chance," Brown said.
In the crowd also stood Rose Cooper whose son Larry Carter was murdered on May 5th.
"This is hard. This is not easy. He was my only child," Cooper said.
On that night, Mayor Butler called for an end to the senseless violence.
"All they want is to come home, live in tranquility, go out, come back without having the fear of someone driving by, shooting a gun, and acting like a plain, old fool," Mayor Butler said.
Brown also had advice to those who are choosing to go out on the streets with guns.
"It needs to stop. Children killing children. Get an education. Get a job and live your life, cause this is not it," Brown said.
Violence continues to devastate Chester at a time when the city is trying to make an economic comeback. Four years ago, Harrah's opened a multi-million dollar casino and racetrack on the banks of the Delaware River.
The $115 million soccer stadium and home to the Philadelphia Union is set to have its grand opening in just over a week on June 27th.
chester, pennsylvania, shooting, local/state
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