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8 people shot near Philly’s Olney Transportation Center, police say

Eight people were shot near the Olney Transportation Center. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

Eight people were shot near the Olney Transportation Center on Wednesday afternoon, leaving a man in his 70s in critical condition and Philadelphia police seeking to learn why someone opened fire at a busy intersection in broad daylight.

The shooting on Broad Street and Olney Avenue happened around 2:50 p.m. EST and wounded two women and six men ranging in age from 17 to 71. The oldest victim was in critical condition, police said, with gunshot wounds to his back and both legs. A 70-year-old man was struck in the thigh.

Buses at the SEPTA Olney Transportation Center in North Philadelphia. (Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

Police had initially said the shooting left seven people wounded, but they later reported that an eighth victim walked into Einstein Medical Center with a graze wound.

Chief Inspector Frank Vanore, who oversees the detective bureau, said it was not clear Wednesday night who fired or why — or even if they had a target. But he said two people were taken into custody: one man who was chased down by SEPTA officers who heard the gunshots, and another who was apprehended in a Chevrolet that police believe was used to drive the suspects to the scene.

Both men were found with guns, Vanore said, and detectives were seeking to interview suspects and witnesses and review surveillance video to determine what happened and why.

The crime was the latest bloody incident in an already-violent 2021 in the city. No other single shooting had wounded as many people this year.

Still, 270 people have been shot so far in 2021 — a 66% increase over last year’s pace, according to police statistics. Police had also reported 71 homicides as of Tuesday, a 48% increase compared with this time last year.

Police declined to identify the people taken into custody, or say what charges they might face.

Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, speaking to reporters at the scene, urged anyone with information to speak with police.

“This is happening far too often, it’s happening in broad daylight,” she said. “And we need everyone to come together to help us solve these cases.”

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