Philadelphia has seen its highest number of homicides this year for more than a decade – with the city's murder rate above New York City and Los Angeles despite both having significantly larger populations.
According to police data, 333 people have been deliberately killed in the Pennsylvania city with two weeks of 2018 still to go – an 11% increase on last year.
There have been 273 murders in New York, which has a population of 8.6 million, and 243 in Los Angeles, which is home to four million.
By comparison, Philadelphia has a population of just 1.5 million.
Such is the concern over the rising rate of violent crime in Philadelphia, the city's mayor Jim Kenney has ordered his staff to come up with strategies to tackle the crisis in the same way he would for a public health emergency.
With the rate of killings approaching an average of one per day, his office will carry out a review of community violence prevention schemes to determine their effectiveness.
Some meetings have also been held among people struggling with gun violence to gain input from locals.
City data shows that most victims are young black men in neighbourhoods struggling with poverty, with Philadelphia ranked as the poorest big city in the US.
Among the most high-profile cases this year was of a high school track and field star who was about to start his degree at Pennsylvania State University.
His fatal shooting – which came when he confronted two teens trying to break into his family home in August – shocked a city that has become used to gun violence.
In another notable incident last month, four people were shot in the head in a basement, and last Friday a new mother was gunned down in her own home while her five-day-old daughter slept nearby.
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And in August, a former Playboy model was strangled to death at her home in a suburb of the city.
Vanessa Garrett Harley, who heads up criminal justice and public safety in the city, is leading the group tasked with developing a plan to tackle the rising violence and said it should be ready next month.