The family of a Philadelphia man and Marine veteran who was shot dead during a carjacking outside his mother’s house over the weekend say the killing shows a “total disregard for human life” as crime continues to surge in the city’s streets.
George Briscella, 60, was in driveway at his mother’s house on the 2100 block of Afton Street just after 8 p.m. Sunday when three men approached him and fired three shots from an AR-15-style rifle, Philadelphia police said Monday during a news conference.
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Briscella’s family and friends told FOX29 Philadelphia that the 60-year-old “had a giant heart” and was loved by the community of northeast Philadelphia.
“Total disregard for human life, a great human life,” Briscella’s eldest son, Tony, told the station of his father’s murder. “This didn’t need to happen in a city that we all grew up in and loved, and it continues to deteriorate.”
Briscella was hit once in his abdomen and the bullet exited through his lower back, Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith said. Smith said that while a nearby doorbell camera didn’t capture the shooting, the victim could be heard screaming on the camera’s footage from the time of the incident.
As of Tuesday, police statistics show that citywide homicides year-to-date reached 53. While it marks a 15% drop from the 62 homicides recorded during the same period last year, it is still the second-highest murder rate year-to-date when compared the previous 15 years, according to police data.
As of Monday, citywide carjackings year-to-date in the city rose to154 – a 152% increase compared to the 61 carjackings reported during the same period in 2021, according to data that Philadelphia police shared with Fox News Digital via email.
Surveillance video shows what appears to be the three suspects speeding away in the victim’s gray 2020 Toyota RAV4, police said. The vehicle has yet to be recovered, and the suspects have yet to be identified.
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Smith told reporters that it didn’t appear the suspects followed Briscella to the home, saying the carjacking may have been a “crime of opportunity.”
However, investigators said they have not ruled out the possibility that the carjacking is related to a pattern of car thefts in the city’s Twelfth District involving Toyota RAV4s.
Briscella is survived by his wife, their four sons and six grandchildren. His family told the station that he was a Marine Corp veteran and the son of a Philadelphia police officer.