A 14-year-old boy has died after he was shot 18 times while waiting for a bus in Philadelphia.
Samir Jefferson was gunned down in broad daylight in the city’s Feltonville neighbourhood on Monday afternoon.
Police said two suspects got out of a car and chased the teen while spraying 35 rounds from two guns until he collapsed. Samir was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Two persons of interest were taken into custody after the shooting but were released by Tuesday morning, police said. The motive for the killing is unclear as the investigation remains ongoing.
"It’s a tragedy that somebody is going to fire over 30 shots at a teenager who is just waiting on the bus,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. “It’s even hard to conceive.”
Samir’s sister, who asked not to be named, told NBC Philadelphia: “It’s really not going to be the same without my little brother because he really brung joy to our family.”
The teen’s death marked the city’s fifth fatal shooting over Thanksgiving weekend. Two other young men, 16-year-old Kanye Davis and 21-year-old Samuel Collington, were shot and killed on Sunday.
“My heart grieves for the victims, their families, and this city,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement Monday night.
“While we cannot bring back those lost, the Philadelphia Police Department will ensure that these cases are fully investigated so that these victims and their families receive closure and justice.”
The shootings extended a devastating increase in gun violence in Philadelphia. So far this year the city has seen nearly 2,000 shootings, with 198 involving children, according to the city controller’s office.
Anyone with information about Monday’s shooting is urged to contact the Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334 or the police tip line at 215-686-8477.
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