Philadelphia police investigators believe the woman killed in a shooting in the Grays Ferry section was an innocent bystander.
A family and neighborhood are in mourning over the loss of an innocent victim caught in the cross fire of a wild shootout Friday afternoon.
Hours after gunfire shattered the air and the smoke cleared in the 1500 block of South Corlies, yellow evidence markers painted a dramatic picture of what looked like a war zone.
Police say at least 18 shots were fired. The shooters escaped their gun battle alive but killed 45 year old Clarice Douglas, a mother of two young children.
The shooting happened around 2:30 p.m.
“The information we got was that she was in the middle of the block. She was walking back towards her house, and two individuals started shooting at each other. She was caught in the middle of the cross fire, and she got shot several times,” explained Captain James Clark.
According to investigators, the woman was shot several times, including once in the head. She was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where she later died.
The woman killed lived with her elderly mother.
“It’s very, very sad that she was shot and killed,” Capt. Clark said.
A large 45 caliber semi automatic was discarded in a trash can. Police believe that it is the murder weapon. Police say it had an extended magazine that could hold 30 bullets; 15 were still in the clip. A 22-year-old man was found wounded a few blocks away, in the 1400 block of Patton Street. He was taken to HUP with three gunshot wounds to the arm and one in his side. He was listed in critical, but stable, condition.
“We have an individual that we believe was involved in it,” said Captain Clark. But police say the man who was shot is being ‘uncooperative.’
“We do believe he was a participant in this shooting, and we believe there is another shooter out there and we’re trying to find out who that is,” said Capt. Clark.
Neighbors of Clarice Douglas were sickened that she was killed in the crossfire.
“She was a good friend,” said James Parker. “I don’t know what’s going on. This getting out of hand,” said neighbor James Parker.
“Loved her poor mother, don’t bother a soul. Loves her kids, she’s dead,” said Maryann Schriver.
Kara Moko moved here recently from West Africa and cannot believe what the neighborhood has become.
“No more safe here,” said Moko. “Very, very dangerous place.”
What scares some the most is that summer may be worse.
“What do we do with our babies, keep them in?” asked Shriver. “Is that what we’re supposed to do now? We’re all prisoners, because my kids are so scared? No, this is crazy.”
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says they need cooperation from the public in the investigation.
“These aren’t folks coming in from another city to commit crime in Philadelphia. These are Philadelphians killing Philadelphians,” said Commissioner Ramsey. “We need people to provide information so that we can get them off the street.”
Police continue to work to learn the identity of the second gunman. They believe have may have been shot also.
Anyone with information is asked to call Philadelphia Police at 215-685-9500.