Jailene Holton, 21-year-old designated driver, killed by bullet fired at Philadelphia bar, police say

What began as an argument over a game of pool ended Tuesday night with a young woman being fatally shot in the head in the back of a Philadelphia bar.

Jailene Holton, 21, had reluctantly gone out with friends for a reunion, according to a Fox 29 news report. She was the designated driver for the group, who started their evening at a local top golf before heading to the Philly Bar & Restaurant, where a sign above the door reads, “LIFE, LIBERTY, BEER.” The Northeast neighborhood bar hosts one on Tuesdays Pool league night at their only pool table – which ultimately sparked the deadly violence.

Sometime during the evening, three guests came hoping to play the pool table, only to find it occupied, according to the report. One of the men in the group got angry at not being able to play, resulting in a bouncer throwing them all out of the bar. Just after 11:30 p.m., one of the men opened fire on the venue from about 200 feet away before fleeing in a dark-colored pickup truck, police officers said.

Of the 15 shots fired, 10 hit the building but five hit the front windows of the bar. One of those bullets hit Jailene – who is believed to have been at the very back of the bar when she was hit. Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said officers and medics found “a 21-year-old woman lying on the floor in the bar suffering from a gunshot wound to the head,” adding, “She was unresponsive.” ”

Doctors tried to save her life with emergency surgery, but she was pronounced dead at the hospital at 4am. Another man in his 30s was treated for broken glass, but none of the bar’s other 20 or so customers or four employees were injured in the indiscriminate gunfire, according to the Fox 29 report.

Family members later confirmed the victim’s identity to the media as a prison inmate.

“And the hardest part is that she never goes out,” her mother reportedly told Fox 29. Her uncle James Holton slapped progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in an interview with CBS3. “Krasner needs to let the police do their job,” Holton said. “Krasner, the mayor, whoever else is in charge. Let the police do their job. Stop handcuffing them. Stop coddling these criminals and hold people accountable. How many kids in town will die? I mean, aren’t you tired of hearing it every day?”

Jailene’s death is just one of hundreds of people killed in Philadelphia so far this year. As of Tuesday, police data said there were 254 homicides in Philly in 2022, down about 6 percent from the same time in 2021 — the year the City of Brotherly Love recorded 562 homicides, the lowest rate on record in the city .

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