February 24, 2023
Seven people, including a 2-year-old girl and five teenagers, were shot by three men who emerged from a car outside the James G. Blaine School in Strawberry Mansion on Thursday evening, police said.
The victims, which included a 31-year-old mother, were transported to various hospitals to treat gunshot wounds. The teenagers ranged in age from 13 to 17. One of them, a 15-year-old boy, was shot twice, including in the chest, and was listed in critical condition, police told KYW.
The shooters remain at large.
Because the shooting occurred near a school, the city is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the shooters.
Police released surveillance images of the three suspected shooters. One was wearing a black face mask and a black New Balance sweater, police said. The other suspect each we wearing black hooded sweatshirts. Pictures also show one of them wearing dark pants and black Under Armour sneakers.
The shooters exited a gray Hyundai Elantra, police said. The car's model is from 2011 to 2016. It had a Pennsylvania license plate but its number was not clearly caught on camera.
The shooting occurred at 5:52 p.m. at the corner of Norris and 31st Streets.
"Our shooters are getting younger and younger," Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw told NBC Philadelphia. "Our victims are getting younger and younger. And they have guns. If you know that this young person has a gun – of course it's illegal — in your home, you can report that. You can do that anonymously. You can call 911, whatever it is. But we have to get the guns out of the hands of these young people. Be nosy. Know what your young people are doing."
On Twitter, Mayor Jim Kenney said he found it "heartbreaking and infuriating to learn of another shooting occurring on or near school grounds." Kenney previously attempted to ban firearms at libraries, schools and recreation centers, but the regulation was blocked by a Court of Common Pleas judge in October.
Schools and other public spaces must remain safe havens for youth and the community. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating to learn of another shooting occurring on or near school grounds. I’m praying for the victims involved. https://t.co/dr5LtUeXsP— Mayor Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) February 24, 2023
The School District of Philadelphia is making counselors, social workers and school psychologists available to the students and staffers impacted by the shooting, Jayme Banks, the district's deputy chief of prevention, intervention and trauma, told KYW.
Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, called for stronger gun laws to protect children from violence.
"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. While we must do everything in our collective power to ensure that our schools and communities at large are safe, we cannot do this without real, systemic change to our commonwealth's gun laws."
Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to contact the Philadelphia Police Department's tip line at (215) 686-8477. Tips also can be submitted anonymously online.