South Philadelphia Mom Finds Loaded Gun at Queen Village Playground

She had hoped it was a toy gun. It wasn't.

A loaded gun found at Weccacoe playground in the Queen Village neighborhood of South Philadelphia (photo provided)

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South Philadelphia Mom Finds Loaded Gun at the Weccacoe Playground in Queen Village

Monday morning was relatively lovely, in terms of the weather. Certainly a good enough day to take your kid to the playground, right? And that’s just what one South Philadelphia mom did. She walked her 18-month-old son to the Weccacoe Playground in Queen Village before she was due to drop him off at a nearby daycare. Things quickly took a turn.

It was around 8:30 a.m. when they arrived at the playground. She was keeping a close eye on him, in no small part because the boy picked up a dead bat at a different playground just a week earlier. Rabies treatment ensued.

She watched the boy as he was climbing on a piece of playground equipment. From below, the mom, who asked us not to use her name, noticed a beverage can on the platform.

“I said, ‘Don’t touch that can!'” she tells me. “Kids love to pick up everything.”

And then, seconds later, she saw a gun of some sort. The mom isn’t acquainted with guns. She wasn’t sure if it was a real gun or a toy gun. But it looked real enough. So she immediately grabbed her son and called 911.

“I was like, ‘I hope this is a water gun or some kind of joke’,” she recalls. She says she waited at Weccacoe Playground for about 30 minutes before a cop showed up.

“[The cop] climbed up and said, ‘This is a real gun,'” says the mom. The police officer went on to say that the gun was a Glock, and that it was loaded. Thirteen bullets in the magazine, and one in the chamber.

Now, if you’re not familiar with guns, I need to tell you that the brand of this particular gun is important. Most handguns have a “safety” on them, a switch you have to manually flip to get the gun to fire. A Glock doesn’t have this type of safety. That means that if you pick up the gun and squeeze the trigger, the gun will fire. I learned this myself a few years ago at a Delco shooting range, where my friend handed me a gun, telling me it was a Glock. “Where’s the safety?” I asked. “It’s a Glock,” he replied. “No safety.”

The Philadelphia Police Department says it is investigating the incident at Weccacoe Playground but didn’t provide further details. A police department spokesperson went on to say that anybody who finds a gun shouldn’t touch it and should immediately call 911, just as this woman did. The police didn’t offer up this information, but it might be worth noting what is probably obvious: Don’t let anybody else near the gun. And if, due to circumstances, you have to pick it up to secure the situation, handle it minimally and keep your finger away from the trigger.

The PPD spokesperson went on to say that parents need to have a discussion with their children about gun safety and what to do if they see a gun. This website provides some useful tips on how that conversation might go.

As for the South Philadelphia mom in this particular scenario, she says she’ll still be taking her son to playgrounds. “But I’ll be watching him like a hawk,” she adds. “You never know what is going to happen.”

Local Talent

The Netflix special that everybody seems to be talking about is the roast of Tom Brady. It’s the first celebrity roast in a very, very, very long time. And it’s also, for some godforsaken reason, three hours long. The biggest problem with the Tom Brady roast, though, is Philly’s own Kevin Hart. He was the roast master, as they call the host of a roast. Hart is a funny-enough comedian during his stand-up shows, but that doesn’t mean that he’s the right person to host a three-hour event that was originally broadcast live. (Note: I’m not the only one who holds this position). He, uh, fumbled jokes and segues. And, frankly, in this particular case, the guy just wasn’t very funny. He probably needs to stick to making really bad movies. Feel free to disagree with me using this link.

Oh, and speaking of the Tom Brady roast, Brady himself had some not-so-nice things to say about Philadelphia when it was his turn to roast his roasters.

By the Numbers

$10 million to $12 million: Funding that the organizer of the Philadelphia Sports Museum is seeking to get the thing off the ground. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because said organizer has been talking about this for the better part of the decade. This time, though, he has the support of Comcast Spectacor.

4: Streets in Philadelphia that will now see the same kind of traffic-enforcement crackdown that’s happening on North Broad Street. Police made the announcement on Monday in response to all those people out there openly shirking the laws of the road. You know who you are! The new zones of enforcement include the following: Castor Avenue between Rhawn Street and Oxford Circle; 300 to 2600 Cottman Avenue; 7000 to 8600 Henry Avenue; and 6900 to 8000 Ogontz Avenue. Everywhere else, feel free to go about your Mad Max business.

$300,000: Value of jewelry, purses and other merchandise thieves made away with at Queen May Jewelry in Cape May on Sunday, just before 3 a.m. The store posted surveillance video of the heist on its Instagram page. Sorry for the store, but I gotta say: How can a store with that much vintage Louis Vuitton sitting around not have better surveillance cameras than the ones I have at home?

And From the Sweet-Sweep Sports Desk …

The final game of the Phils’ series with the Giants took place at CBP yesterday afternoon, with Zack Wheeler on the mound for us. Local kid Mason Black, the Giants pitcher making his first major-league start, had his proud parents in the stands. Jung Hoo Lee and LaMonte Wade Jr. led off the first with singles off Wheeler, but Bryson Stott squelched the threat with a fine double-play from shortstop, where he was subbing for the injured Trea Turner, with Whit Merrifield at second for Stott.

That was pretty much it till the fourth, when Black walked Nick Castellanos and Stott back-to-back with two outs and Merrifield singled Nick home. Wheels, meantime, was racking up the strikeouts; he’d wind up with 11 total. Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto led off our fifth with singles, and Bryce Harper homered both in: 4-0 Phils.

Brandon Marsh doubled up the right-field line, and Castellanos whacked him home with another double, putting an end to Black’s outing. In came Erik Miller, who got three straight outs. In the sixth, a Stott error with one out put Thairo Estrada on first, and he got to third on a single by Wade. Johan Rojas made a nice catch on a fly ball for an out, but Estrada scored: 5-1. Wade took second on a passed ball, but Wheels got the K on Michael Conforto to end the threat. Luke Jackson came in for Miller, and Bryce led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and got to second on an Alec Bohm ground-out; would tonight end Bohm’s 18-game hitting streak? It did. But Schwarbs homered off the foul pole in right field to make it 6-1, and Orion Kerkering finished it off that way.

That’s another series sweep, and 10 home wins in a row. The Toronto Blue Jays pay a call on us tomorrow, with a 6:40 start.

What Else Ya Got?

Get a load of this dickwad at the Met Gala last night. And enjoy the replies.


All Philly Today sports coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.