March 30, 2023
Police are looking for four male suspects wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of Devon Weedon, the 15-year-old student at Simon Gratz High School who was killed while walking to school on Tuesday morning.
The shooting occurred near the intersection of 16th Street and West Hunting Park Avenue at around 7:45 a.m. on March 28, just about a block away from the charter school in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia. Weedon was shot in the chest and transported to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:14 a.m., police said.
Police believe that several males approached Weedon while he was on his way to school. The group got into a physical altercation with the teenager before one of the assailants shot the boy in the chest. The motive for the shooting is believed to be robbery, police said. No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.
On Thursday, police released surveillance video of the four suspects wanted in connection with the shooting. Each of the males were seen wearing black or gray clothing, branded hoodies or sweatshirts and athletic shoes. One of the suspects was wearing a dark mask and appeared to be armed with a gun, police said.
"This again speaks to the level of gun violence that we continue to see in the city," Police Sgt. Eric Gripp said during a news conference on Tuesday morning. "Our children should be safe. Everyone should be safe, but children on the way to school and this young man, a student at nearby Simon Gratz High School in the 10th grade, with his whole life ahead of him, is dead this morning because we have individuals out there who can't seem to handle any kind of conflict with anything other than a handgun."
Described as a dedicated student and football player, Weedon left behind devastated family, friends and community members, the Inquirer reported. His father, Gary Weedon, told 6ABC that his son was "one of the best kids in the world," adding that he was an honor roll student who "got along with everybody."
Weedon is the 18th student from the School District of Philadelphia killed this academic year, CBS Philadelphia reported. Children have made up about 9% of the city's 383 fatal and non-fatal shooting victims so far this year, according to data from the City Controller's Office. There have been 104 homicides in 2023, down from 14% from the same time in 2022.
There is a standing $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in connection with the shooting. Since the shooting happened so close to Simon Gratz, there is an additional $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction.
Those with information should contact the Philadelphia Police Department's tipline at (215) 686-8477 or submit an anonymous tip online.