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Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner doubled down of criticism of the National Rifle Association (NRA) Monday in response to the South Street mass shooting over the weekend, arguing that any legislator – Republican or Democrat – who has “sold their souls” to the gun lobby should not remain in office.
Speaking at a pre-scheduled news conference to announce the conviction of Timothy Barnes for the 2018 roadway shooting murder of Tyisha Timmons, Krasner briefly addressed the shooting on South Street that left three people dead and another 11 wounded. Investigators say a fight prompted gunfire spraying across a bustling entertainment district before midnight Saturday while hundreds were gathered on the street.
“I went to the scene myself the morning after the shooting to see what was there, and it was chilling,” Krasner said. “No less chilling that it happened in more than 10 places around the country over a space of a few days. It is enough.”
“We have come to a place where it is enough, where any legislator who is accepting donations directly or indirectly from the gun lobby,” he continued, “any legislator who has a high rating with the National Rifle Association, any legislator who is not willing to put the lives of innocent bystanders of women and children and young adults above their political future belongs out of office.”
“I don’t care whether they are Republican or Democrat. They belong out,” Krasner added. “They may have sold their souls to make this the most heavily armed society in the world, but that does not entitle them to remain in office.”
The progressive district attorney has received pushback for a tweet blaming NRA lobbyists for the South Street shooting despite his own inaction on prosecuting illegal gun-related offenses.
In a statement to Fox News Digital Sunday, NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter said, “Philadelphia has been awash in crime for years as a result of Krasner’s ineptitude and loyalty to his benefactor, George Soros, who supports weak DAs who pledge not to prosecute violent criminals and release them almost immediately as law enforcement arrests these violent felons.”
“This crime wave is on Larry Krasner, Joe Biden and their benefactors – no one else,” she wrote. “Blaming the NRA, which advocates for its 5 million law-abiding members to be able defend themselves and their families, is a feeble cop out and a disgrace.”
Krasner, providing few details citing a very active investigation, said his office expected to approve charges later Monday for at least two people in connection to what are anticipated to be nonfatal shootings.
He said at least four guns were used in the deadly incident, including three 9 mm firearms and one 40 caliber firearm, adding that there are possibly more firearms that were involved.
“Today is not an ordinary Monday. This is the Monday after the South Street shooting,” the district attorney said. “Philadelphia experienced a horrific and a senseless act of violence on South Street over the weekend. This act of violence is obviously no reflection on who we are as Philadelphians, what we stand for or our resilience. This is a city where despite the horror, other public gatherings, other coming together of people continued over the weekend.”
As of the time of the news conference, no arrests had been announced in connection to the shooting.
While he was speaking, Krasner said that Joanne Pescatore, the chief of homicide at the Philadelphia district attorney’s office, was with detectives from the Philadelphia Police Department on South Street as “they are continuing to make sure they have all of the video evidence they can possibly obtain.”
He said that Pescatore is working “to make sure she not only has awareness in paper form of what the evidence is but that she has the opportunity to walk through it and see it all in three dimensions the locations of fired cartridge casings, holes in windows, locations where there is or was blood.”
“While we continue to advocate for sensible and smart gun legislation and to do so in the strongest possible terms we must in a country where there are literally more guns than people, we are still committed to working with our partners to help victims working with the greater Philadelphia community to heal from the trauma that is connected to this awful shooting,” Krasner added.