Philadelphians speak out soberly about the city's spreading crime epidemic.
"It's horrible. I've seen enough violence. I've seen a lot in the last couple years. I myself was touched by violence years ago, but it still hurts. I feel sad for young people, taking each other for granted, targeting each other. The main problem is the parents. They can't take care of a situation at home, and it spreads to the streets, the schools and everywhere else. I have an 18-year-old daughter, and I've been a bodyguard to her for all those years. I feel sad. It's 10 times worse these days. Ten times."
Neighborhood: West Philadelphia.
Occupation: Shop owner.
"Back in the '80s the city was everyone in one spot. There was a section for everybody. This neighborhood wasn't violent at all when we moved here. It was violent before that. It's changed four or five times already. Now it's better. I see a lot less violence now in the neighborhood, but more in the city. People are more desperate in different areas."
Neighborhood: University City.
"I'm a freshman at Penn, so I've been here only a couple months. During the summer the university sent a letter out about these attacks by small groups of, like, fifth-graders. I haven't witnessed any incidences of violence. We hear about things going on. You just learn that there are certain places you shouldn't go to at certain times, so I don't go there during those times. I feel very safe. Around campus, all the way to 44th, there's Penn security. They don't carry weapons, but there's a presence. Having a presence, a face, is good. It lets people know there's someone there, that there's someone who cares."
Chris Verdi (left)
Neighborhood: South Philadelphia.
"How do I cope with the violence? I don't go outside. I'm an insider."
Immigrants are not a zombie invasion
PW's Fall Guide 2014