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Toddler, 5 Teens Among 7 Wounded In Mass Shooting Outside Philadelphia School

Philadelphia, PA – A toddler and five teenagers were among seven people wounded during a mass shooting outside a school in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood on Thursday night.

Philadelphia police said they are searching for three male suspects who were last seen driving a 2011-2016 gray, four-door Hyundai Elantra with Pennsylvania license plates, WPVI reported.

The attack occurred near the intersection of Norris Street and 31st Street by the James G. Blaine School at approximately 6 p.m. on Feb. 23.

Investigators said that an after-school program was just finishing up when the gunfire erupted, WTXF reported.

Witnesses said they heard more than 30 gunshots ring out.

Among the victims was a two-year-old girl and her her 31-year-old mother, WTXF reported.

The toddler was rushed to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with a gunshot wound to the leg and was listed in stable condition.

Her mother, who is also the mother of one of the teen victims, was transported to Temple University Hospital with two gunshot wounds to the leg and was also listed in stable condition, WTXF reported.

A 15-year-old boy was rushed to Temple University Hospital with two gunshot wounds to the chest and was listed in critical condition.

A 13-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to his hand and was listed in stable condition at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, WTXF reported.

A 16-year-old boy was in stable condition at Temple University Hospital after being shot in the arm.

A second 16-year-old boy was transported to Jefferson University Hospital with gunshot wounds to his leg and arm and was listed in stable condition, WTXF reported.

A 17-year-old boy was in stable condition at Jefferson University Hospital with a graze wound to his leg.

No arrests were immediately made.

Police said one of the male suspects was wearing a black face mask and a black “New Balance” sweater, WTXF reported.

A second suspect was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, and a third suspect was wearing dark pants, black Under Armour shoes, and a black hooded sweatshirt.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said it is too soon to know the motive for the attack, WPVI reported.

“This has been a fairly quiet portion of the 22nd district for quite some time now,” Commissioner Outlaw said. “At this point we’re piecing everything together to figure out if this is retaliatory, if some of those victims were intended or not, but it’s still really early to tell.”

The investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

“Schools and other public spaces must remain safe havens for youth and the community,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in the wake of the shooting, according to WTXF. “It’s heartbreaking and infuriating to learn of another shooting occurring on or near school grounds. I’m praying for the victims involved.”

Philadelphia Federation of Teacher President Jerry Jordan said gun laws need to be changed in order to prevent such attacks from occurring.

“Once again, the devastation of gun violence continues to traumatize our communities,” Jordan said in a statement on Thursday night, according to WTXF. “It should be unfathomable that outside of one of our schools, as an event was letting out, six people – including a toddler and four teens – were shot. But of course, it is anything but unfathomable. It should horrify us all, but it should shock none of us.”

“Our schools must be safe. Our schoolyards must be safe. Our children’s walks to and from school must be safe. Our communities must be safe,” Jordan added. “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.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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