A man has been arrested after police found him decapitating his girlfriend with a machete in Delaware County, Philadelphia, according to local media reports.
Officers arrived at the Willow Apartments on the 400 block of Springfield Road in Clifton Heights around 4:15 a.m. on Friday morning, and found the man in the process of decapitating a woman, ABC6 reported.
The man was using a machete, law enforcement sources told Fox 29. Police said the woman was the suspect’s girlfriend and the pair had been fighting before the woman was attacked.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
Witnesses told Fox 29 they had heard officers shouting and kicking down the apartment door to arrest the suspect.
The unnamed man remains in custody while the investigation by Delaware County District Attorney’s Office continues.
Newsweek has contacted the Philadelphia Police Department and the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office for comment.
According to data from the Philadelphia Police Department, as of February 10, there have been 55 homicides reported in the city—that’s compared with 63 reported in the same time frame in 2021. Last year represented the city’s largest ever reported homicides in a single year.
The city saw 551 homicides in 2021—the largest number of killings ever recorded since homicides were tracked by city officials in 1960.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner on January 24 described the violent crime rate in the city as a “terrible crisis that we are suffering through.”
Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson said on January 3 that more must be done to tackle gun crime in the city this year.
“Philadelphia’s 2021 murder rate easily surpassed our all-time record of 503 people murdered in 1990 and has passed the 499 homicides that happened in 2020. This is not a record any city leader or Philadelphia resident should be proud of,” said Johnson.
“There are at least 560 families who have lost a loved one in 2021 and that is totally unacceptable! I remain committed to doing everything in my power to reduce the homicide rate in our city in 2022.”
Johnson noted the city is opening the Philadelphia Office of Victim Advocate sometime this year, and said he believes it will play a role in reducing violence in Philadelphia “for years to come.”
According to the Philadelphia City Council, the office will serve as an independent agency focused on the needs of crime victims and others affected by crime.
It is set to offer a “hub” for crime victims and co-victims, a term the city council said refers to family, neighbors, colleagues and others indirectly affected by crime.
“The office’s functions would include coordination, planning, and policy advocacy,” it said.
Update 2/11/22, 8:41 a.m. ET: This article was updated with additional information and background.