Seven people, including a 2-year-old girl and five teenagers, were wounded in a shooting Thursday evening near a school in the city’s Strawberry Mansion section, police said.
The gunfire erupted just after 5:50 p.m. on the northeast corner of 31st and Norris Streets in front of a beer distributor, said police, who provided the following information on the victims:
A 2-year-old girl who was shot in her left thigh was transported by private vehicle with a police escort to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she was listed in stable condition.
A 15-year-old boy shot twice in the chest and once in the right side of his body was transported to Temple University Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.
A 13-year-old boy shot in his left hand also was transported to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he was listed in stable condition.
A 16-year-old boy shot in his left arm also was taken to Temple and was reported in stable condition.
Another 16-year-old boy shot in his right arm and left leg was taken by medics to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He was reported in stable condition.
A 17-year-old boy with a graze wound to his thigh was transported by Uber to Thomas Jefferson and was reported in stable condition.
The seventh victim, a 31-year-old woman, was shot twice in the left leg. She was listed in stable condition at Temple.
Police said they found nearly 30 spent shell casings at 31st and Norris. Initially police believed there was a related crime scene outside James G. Blaine School on the 3000 block of Norris, but later police said the shooting was not connected to the school.
Late Thursday night, police said they were looking for three shooters and a gray 4-door Hyundai Elantra, possibly a model year from 2011 to 2016, with an unknown Pennsylvania license plate.
Police said it wasn’t immediately clear what led to the shooting.
Philadelphia school board president Reginald Streater interrupted a Thursday night meeting to share the news of the “tragic shooting,” which happened near Blaine Elementary as a nonschool event let out, he said.
The city’s gun violence crisis continues to have an outsize effect on schools, students, and families across Philadelphia. Streater said the board would “continue to fight for the safety of students.” A number of district staff left the meeting to “be of service” at the school, he said.
Philadelphia Superintendent Tony B. Watlington Sr. said the shooting was “just unbelievably bad. We can and must do better.”
Jayme Banks, the district’s deputy chief of prevention, intervention, and trauma, was planning for supports at Blaine Friday and in the days beyond — counselors, social workers, psychologists, and others, offering group and individual therapy.
Banks said the tragedy was affecting an area already hard-hit by violence, and said a victim included a mother picking up children from an after-school program.
“This is unspeakable,” Banks said.
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan decried the violence in a statement.
“Our schools must be safe,” Jordan said. “Our schoolyards must be safe. Our children’s walks to and from school must be safe. Our communities must be safe.”
Jordan called for “real, systemic change” to Pennsylvania’s gun laws.
The shooting comes amid rising concerns about gun violence in Philadelphia, and was the second time multiple teenagers were injured in an incident of gunfire this week.
On Tuesday, a 13-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy were wounded by gunfire as they were walking home from school on the 1900 block of West Montgomery Avenue. The boy was hospitalized in critical condition. The girl was listed as stable.
The shootings on Tuesday occurred two blocks from where Temple University Police Officer Christopher Fitzgerald was fatally shot over the weekend, and it took place as Fitzgerald’s family and friends joined community members gathered on campus less than a mile away to honor his life.
Including Thursday’s septuple shooting, 26 children under the age of 18 have been shot in Philadelphia this year. Among the victims was a 7-year-old girl who was resting on her great-grandmother’s couch, and a 13-year-old girl sitting inside with her siblings. Three teens have died.
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