A man was shot dead while filming a video about Philadelphia’s escalating gun violence, police said.
Anthony Merriett, 55, was gunned down at about 8 p.m. Monday in the city’s Strawberry Mansion section, where he was interviewing people whose children were killed by firearms in the last few years, Philadelphia police Chief Inspector Scott Small told WPVI.
Merriett, of Philadelphia, was working for a production company at the time and was shot several times as he left a home where he was “interviewing and filming” relatives of the juvenile victims, Small said.
The footage Merriett had taken was set to stream on Netflix, WPVI reported. A message seeking comment from the California-based streaming service was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Merriett — who was reportedly shot in the head, chest, torso and legs — was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital, police said.
At least four shots were fired and four spent shell casings were found on a nearby sidewalk and vacant lot, WTXF reported.
A bag containing Merriett’s production equipment was also found on a sidewalk alongside two cellphones. Investigators are still seeking a motive in the slaying, Small said.
“We don’t know if it was robbery, if his wallet and money were taken,” Small said.
No arrests had been made as of Tuesday. Merriett is from Philadelphia, police told The Post.
Investigators were reportedly working to retrieve footage from nearby surveillance cameras.
The slaying marked the 119th homicide in Philadelphia this year, according to WPVI.
The Philadelphia City Council was set to hold a special committee Tuesday on gun violence prevention, WPVI reported.
The meeting comes less than two weeks after Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw hosted their first biweekly briefings on their efforts to curb the city’s “epidemic” of gun violence.
“As I said last week, 2021 is on track to be the most violent year we’ve experienced in our lifetimes,” Kenney told reporters. “We’re less than three months in and we’ve already lost more than 100 people to gun violence.”
Outlaw said on March 17 that at least 103 people had been murdered in Philadelphia in 2021 – an increase of more than 30 percent from last year when a near-record of 499 homicides were tallied. The city was also on pace to “shatter” last year’s record for the number of guns taken off city streets, Outlaw said.
The 499 people killed in Philadelphia last year was the highest since 1990 — when a record high of 500 homicides were tallied.