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|Saturday, December 30, 2000, updated at 12:40(GMT+8)|
Shooting in Philadelphia Leaves Seven Dead
Another three people were wounded when four masked men burst into the boarded-up house late Thursday and started shooting.
At the scene, Deputy Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson told The Philadelphia Inquirer the abandoned house was a possible haven for crack cocaine use, and said the shootings appeared to be drug-related.
Investigators said they found drugs and drug paraphernalia inside the house and Johnson said two of the people found dead there were known drug dealers, the newspaper reported.
Johnson also told the newspaper he could not recall another shooting in Philadelphia where there had been so many victims.
Neighbors of the abandoned house said they did not hear gunfire, the newspaper reported.
No one had been arrested by late Friday, but Police Commissioner John Timoney told the Inquirer that Mayor John Street had instructed him to "spare no expense in uncovering who did this awful crime."
Six men were pronounced dead at the scene, and four others + two men and two women + were taken to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, where one of the women died shortly upon arrival, police spokeswoman Officer Carmen Torres told AFP.
She could not confirm that the shooting was drug-related and said there was no evidence gangs were involved.
"It's a shame. Ten people shot at Christmastime," Chris Williams told the Inquirer. Williams, 35, a local resident who had been visiting relatives in the neighborhood and stood outside, watching as police swarmed the scene.
Philadelphia is 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Washington.
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