Vigil For Murder Victim As Police Investigate Another Purse Snat

Vigil For Murder Victim As Police Investigate Another Purse Snatch Shooting

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West Philadelphia -

All of our hearts are bleeding, all of our hearts," Pamela Campbell told Fox 29 just two days after her daughter Melissa was gunned down just blocks from her home in what police say was a purse snatching turned deadly.

"Please catch the killers," she said.

This grieving mother spoke to FOX 29 just hours before a planned vigil at the crime scene where her 29 year old daughter lost her life. A second woman was also shot after police say they turned over their belongings and tried to walk away.

"They took somebody that's precious to me, took somebody that cared for me that loved me and did things for me. They took her away," Campbell said during an interview at the slain woman's home on Pine Street.

Police now say four women have been shot in similar robberies in a month. A 49-year-old woman was shot over her purse at 39th and Poplar back on January 11th. That happened just days before Amber Long was murdered right in front of her mother during a purse snatching turned deadly in Northern Liberties.

"The lord has to forgive me for saying this, but I hope they burn in hell," she said, adding that she is not a vengeful person.

"It's just unbelievable," said Keitera Coble, who runs the Ideal Status Car Club where Thomas was a new member. She will join Thomas' family and friends at a vigil across from the crime scene Tuesday night. .

"The code of the streets has definitely been broken, before it was just no women, no kids, now they're taking the lives of women," Coble told Fox 29.

Coble urges women to stop carrying purses and handbags. She believes that makes them targets.

"People want what you have no matter how small the amount," she explained.

Another woman who lives a block away from the 39th and Poplar shooting scene, says she never carries a purse.

"All I do is carry my ID, that's it. If I go to the stores, a couple dollars, and back in the house," she said.

Police have no suspects and no arrests in the three shooting incidents. They did arrest two suspects last week after a purse snatching in North Philadelphia.

Police say the two men shot the boyfriend of a woman who's purse they had just robbed. One suspect took the purse and the other allegedly shot the boyfriend after he chased the robber.

Both men have been charged with aggravated assault and other related charges.

There's a $20,000 reward in the murder of Melissa Thomas and a $37,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in Amber Long's murder. No one has been charged in the shooting at 39th and Poplar.

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