Three teenagers were killed and a fourth person was injured after a shooting in Philadelphia.
The quadruple shooting occurred around 3:30 p.m. Friday in the Lawncrest neighborhood, northeast of downtown Philadelphia.
Police on Saturday named the victims as Malik Ballard, 17, Khalif Frezghi, 18, and Salah Fleming, 14.
A fourth victim, aged 16, arrived at the hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach.
Two male youths, ages 15 and 16, were arrested and charged with violation of the Uniform Firearms Act and related offenses.
What we know about the shooting
Police arrived in the 5900 block of Palmetto Street Friday afternoon to find one person lying on the sidewalk, another on the porch, and a third inside the home.
All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said they found 17-year-old Malik lying on the sidewalk, bleeding from the gunshot wound.
Khalif, 18, was found dead on the front porch of the home.
And the youngest fatality, 14-year-old Salah, was found right at the entrance of the residence.
Another victim, a 16-year-old male who has not been identified, suffered a gunshot wound and arrived at Jefferson Frankford Hospital in a car.
What we know about the suspects
Police arrested two underage boys from a car on Friday night.
Shortly after the shooting, police said ballistic evidence was recovered from Palmetto Street and a gun was found inside the residence.
Police said they identified a black Ford Edge believed to have been used during the shooting. The car was found damaged in the 500 block of East Wyoming Street.
The 15- and 16-year-olds were arrested after the car was recovered.
They have been charged with firearms and related crimes.
The motive for the shooting is unknown and the investigation is still active.
The two suspects are believed to have dropped off the injured person at the hospital before fleeing and crashing their car.
‘My heart is very heavy’
Philadelphia School District officials confirmed that at least two of the victims, including the injured teenager and Salah, the youngest fatality, were their students.
They were studying at the Philadelphia Charter School of Mathematics, Civics and Science, the school’s founder and chief administrator said. investigator.
Salah enrolled in school and started eighth grade in September, Veronica J Joyner said, adding that his teachers praised him as “very polite, very calm and hard-working”.
“My heart is very heavy at the number of children we have lost. The number keeps going up. It is a crisis in the city and we must stop it,” said Ms. Joyner.
She said the hospitalized student is an 11th grade student at the school.
“Both young men are very respectable and are good students,” said Ms. Joyner.
She was not aware of any disputes or arguments between students at the school that might have led to the shooting, she said.
He added that Salah did not attend school that day.
She said she was not aware of any conflict within the school that may have moved to Palmetto Street and the shooting there on Friday afternoon. She said that Salah had not been at school on Friday.
Shierea Owens, who had to walk her seven-year-old daughter through the neighborhood of the crime scene that was sealed with yellow tape, said she was shocked.
“Today there is no accountability,” Ms Owens told KYW. “That’s too close to home.”
“This is getting worse and worse and something has to be done,” said another woman at the scene. “There is violence all over America, but Philadelphia has a problem and something has to be done.”
The incident comes as more than two dozen shots were fired during a shootout outside the city’s Lawncrest Recreation Center just two weeks ago.
Police said nearly 30 shots were fired during the shooting, including a bullet that went through a daycare window.
“It’s frustrating because again, I know the work that our men and women are doing to try to stop, to try to prevent these types of incidents from happening,” said Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner John Stanford.
“But again, we can’t lose hope, because if we lose hope, everyone in this city will lose hope.”
The United States is setting a devastating record pace for mass murder in 2023, according to the Associated Press. The country has seen at least 176 mass shootings in the first four months of this year, according to the Archive of Gun Violence.
Violence is triggered by a variety of reasons: murder-suicides and domestic violence, gang retaliation, school shootings, and workplace revenge. All of the incidents listed as mass murders by the report have resulted in the deaths of at least four or more people respectively since January 1.