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June 01, 2023

Video shows brawl on SEPTA bus before shooting of two teens

The gun fired as a suspect was using it to strike a passenger on a Route 33 bus in North Philly, authorities said

Investigations Shootings
SEPTA Bus Shooting Video Brawl Philadelphia Police/YouTube

The suspect shown above is wanted in connection with a double shooting on a SEPTA bus in North Philadelphia on May 17, police said.

Philadelphia police are searching for a suspect in a shooting that happened during a brawl on a SEPTA bus last month, injuring two teenagers during the scuffle that was caught on surveillance video.

The May 17 shooting happened around noon on a Route 33 bus in the North Philly area of 20th and Diamond streets. One 18-year-old victim was shot once in the groin, while the second victim, also 18, suffered a graze wound to his left thigh.

Circumstances of the shooting became clearer on Thursday when police released a video showing a group of teenagers who entered the bus and attacked a passenger. After the initial fight, one of the teens was shown pointing a gun in the aisle of the bus. The armed teen then struck a passenger multiple times with his gun near one of the bus exits, causing the gun to fire and strike the two victims, police said.

The teenagers fled the bus on foot and ran westbound along the 2100 block of Diamond Street, authorities said.

Police did not say what might have led the group of teens to attack the bus passenger, or whether the person who was initially attacked in the video is one of the two shooting victims. It's unclear how many shots were fired. 

The gunman sought by police is believed to be between 14-17 years old and is shown in the surveillance video wearing a hood over his head. Several of the other teens involved in the brawl appeared to be wearing ski masks, which have since been banned from all SEPTA facilities in an effort to deter crime. SEPTA officials said the masks have been used in a number of violent crimes and have made efforts to identify suspects more difficult.

In another shooting on May 24, a 15-year-old boy was killed while riding a Route 23 bus traveling near the 5200 block of Germantown Avenue. The teen was struck in the chest and the suspect fled on foot, as did another man who police called a person of interest. Authorities released surveillance video of that shooting last week. The city has a $20,000 reward out for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Anyone with information about the May 17 shooting is asked to call police at (215) 686-8271. Tips also can be provided anonymously by completing an online form.