Canvassers for a far-left Philadelphia mayoral candidate who has pledged to crack down on gun violence in the city pulled guns on each other, and one of them died, according to the police.
A 22-year-old man, who was canvassing Philadelphia's East Germantown neighborhood on behalf of the progressive group OnePA, fatally shot a 46-year-old fellow canvasser on Monday, police said. Both men were knocking on doors in support of soft-on-crime Democratic mayoral candidate Helen Gym, among other left-wing candidates.
The victim and the killer "knew each other and began arguing after they 'happened upon each other'" in the neighborhood, deputy police commissioner Frank Vanore told the Philadelphia Inquirer. Inspector Ernest Ransom said the argument led both men to draw guns on each other, with the younger canvasser shooting and killing the older man.
The shooter "said he was acting in self-defense," Ransom told the Inquirer.
If Gym, whom the Inquirer has called "Philly's AOC," wins the mayorship, she will likely advance the policies of embattled District Attorney Larry Krasner (D.), a soft-on-crime activist who has received millions of dollars from left-wing megadonor George Soros.
"Gym is one of the candidates in the race that has supported Krasner's directives in the past and has not suggested she wishes to see significant change from that office's trajectory," the Philadelphia Tribune noted.
Gym's website says reducing gun violence is a major campaign priority, declaring that she will "reduce violence" and "get illegal guns off our streets." Both of the guns used in the Monday shootout appear to be legal, though the one used by the victim was not registered to him, according to the Inquirer.
Philadelphia is facing an unprecedented crime wave under Krasner. More than 500 Philadelphians were killed in 2021, the city's police department reported in December, a murder rate not seen in over 30 years. Krasner's refusal to prosecute crimes he considers "low-level" has led to "high recidivism rates," the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly last year tried to impeach Krasner, saying the DA "failed to prosecute violent offenders, withheld relevant facts in cases, and violated victims' rights," the Free Beacon reported. The effort failed after a Democratic state judge intervened to dismiss the impeachment articles.
At least one news source originally reported that Gym's campaign, rather than OnePA, employed the canvassers involved in the Monday shootout. Gym's statement on the shooting took time to note that the campaign did not employ the victim.
"The most important part of this that Helen Gym wanted you to know is that the canvasser for her campaign who was killed did not in fact work directly for her campaign," conservative journalist Greg Price wrote on Twitter.