Police: 3 Shooters Wanted After 8 Northeast High School Students Shot in Philadelphia Near Septa Bus Stop

Eight students from Northeast High School in Philadelphia were shot near a SEPTA bus station at Rising Sun and Cottman avenues on Wednesday, according to Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel.

Bethel said that the kids are between the ages of 15 and 17. A 16-year-old student was shot nine times in the torso and is in serious condition. The police say all of the other kids are in good health.

“Enough is enough,” Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker said. “Every law enforcement partner that we have here in the city of Philadelphia is actively engaged and working together to ensure that every resource that is needed is readily available so that the work can be done to solve the crimes.”

Three shooters in masks were seen inside a dark blue Hyundai Sonata with paper tags, according to the cops.

Bethel said that three shooters got out of the car near the Dunkin’ Donuts and fired more than 30 shots as Northeast High kids were getting on the SEPTA bus.

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The police shared CCTV footage of the shooting. It shows the suspects getting out of the car, firing shots at a SEPTA bus, and then driving off in a dark blue Hyundai.

After the shooting at a bus stop in Ogontz on Monday, eleven young people have been shot in Philadelphia. Bethel said it’s not clear yet if the two killings are linked.

“It’s truly disheartening to witness 11 young individuals being shot within a span of just three days, as they were simply going to or coming from school,” expressed Bethel, who assumed the role of police commissioner after serving as the Chief of School Safety in the School District of Philadelphia. “The cowardly acts we’ve witnessed recently are absolutely unacceptable. It’s incredibly frustrating to see that despite my repeated discussions on the matter, the consequences of not addressing gun violence and access to firearms are painfully evident in the present situation.”

SEPTA reported that shots were fired in the vicinity of Rising Sun Avenue and St. Vincent Street, hitting a Route 18 bus and a Route 67 bus. Thankfully, no passengers on the bus were injured in the incident.

The SEPTA Transit Police are currently examining surveillance footage from the area and providing assistance to the Philadelphia police in their ongoing investigation.

No arrests have been made and the motive remains unknown.

Philadelphia officials say they will use every resource to solve shooting

During a press conference held amidst the pouring rain, Parker, Bethel, and District Attorney Larry Krasner expressed their commitment to allocate additional resources in order to swiftly resolve the shooting and ensure justice prevails.

During her mayoral campaign, Parker made a promise to transform Philadelphia into the “safest, cleanest, greenest big city” in the United States. She reiterated this commitment on Wednesday.

“We are committed to prioritizing your public health and safety, and we are unapologetic about utilizing all legal and constitutional means at our disposal to achieve that,” expressed Parker confidently.

Krasner, visibly emotional, expressed his determination to aggressively pursue justice for the tragic shooting incident in Ogontz. He emphasized that his office will spare no effort in prosecuting those responsible for this senseless act of violence.

Northeast High School to be virtual for rest of the week

Northeast High School has made the decision to transition to virtual learning for the remainder of the week in response to the recent shooting incident on Wednesday, which resulted in eight students sustaining injuries.

Even though the school will be virtual, the district’s emergency crisis response team will provide on-site support at Northeast High to assist students with grief counseling and other emotional assistance, as stated in a release by Watlington. Additionally, counselors will be available for students at the Crossan School, located approximately a mile away from Northeast High.

The district offers two online tools, Kooth and Lyra Health, to provide mental health support for students and staff.

“We are deeply saddened and outraged that innocent children walking home from school have become victims of gun violence,” expressed Watlington, speaking on behalf of all children and families in the school district. “We echo the sentiments of the mayor – we have had enough.”

Bethel “never thought” he would get shot while coming from school as a kid

In his press conference on Wednesday, Bethel reminisced about his time at Bartram High School in Southwest Philly during his teenage years. He fondly described it as the “safest place” he had ever been.

“It never crossed my mind that someone would shoot me while I was walking to school or even kill me right at the doorstep. I couldn’t fathom the idea that I could be in danger just by getting on the bus two blocks away. To the parents and children who have experienced such traumatic incidents, I can only imagine the lasting impact it has had on them,” expressed Bethel.

Bethel urges parents to take a more active role in their children’s lives, especially in light of the rising number of shootings involving young people in Philadelphia.

Bethel expressed the urgency for parents to take action, stating, “Their parents need to get engaged. We’ve emphasized this multiple times. Today, I personally asked every parent to thoroughly examine their homes, including the tables, closets, and every nook and cranny, to remove any firearms present. It’s crucial because, ultimately, many of these children hail from the very communities where the shootings occur, and they are well aware of the individuals involved. The community at large is also aware. We cannot tackle this issue alone.”

Recent shootings involving SEPTA

There have been multiple shootings at SEPTA bus stops in Philadelphia this week, and Wednesday’s incident was no exception.

A tragic incident occurred on Tuesday night when Carmelo Drayton, a 37-year-old man, was fatally shot on a SEPTA bus in South Philly. The incident took place at the intersection of Broad Street and Snyder Avenue.

On Monday, a shooting incident occurred at a SEPTA bus stop in the Ogontz section of the city, resulting in injuries to five individuals, including three teenagers. This incident is reminiscent of the shooting that took place on Wednesday.

Five people, including three teens, were shot at a SEPTA bus stop in the Ogontz neighborhood of the city on Monday. This was similar to the shooting on Wednesday.

Three teens were shot and killed at Imhotep Institute Charter High School. One of them, Dayemen Taylor, 17, died. Two more people, a 71-year-old woman and a 50-year-old guy, were hurt in the shooting.

Police said over the weekend that a man was killed in the city’s Oxford Circle neighborhood after a fight on a SEPTA bus. The victim was shot and killed when he got off the bus late on March 3.

According to Krasner, the impact of gun violence goes beyond the immediate victims. It is a traumatizing and debilitating experience for children, families, and the community as a whole. It affects not only those directly affected by the bullets but also every student attending the school, every parent, and every individual relying on public transportation. The consequences reach far beyond the physical harm caused by the violence.

Northeast Philly community reeling after shooting

After Wednesday afternoon’s shooting, people in the Northeast are still in shock.

Holly works at the Quaker Diner, which is close to the scene of the crime. She said she ran outside and saw kids who had been shot lying in the street. She talked about a horrible event.

“It’s scary, and I can’t believe it happened, to look down and see all these kids shot, laying on the ground, and it’s raining; this one kid is sitting there, holding his one friend’s head; he’s on the ground; puddles of blood around him,” she stated.

“Please keep your eyes open and stay with me,” he begged his friend. She told him, “You’ll be fine.”

Holly said she never had to worry about killings when she was growing up in the area.

As kids ran into the diner looking for safety, Doris, who also works there, said she tried to stay cool and help them stay calm.

“I sometimes can’t understand the mindset of these young ones, resorting to violence and hurting one another. It’s truly heartbreaking to witness kids killing kids,” she expressed, her voice filled with concern. “Personally, I feel relieved that my own children have grown up and are no longer in school. I no longer have to bear the worry of such a tragic incident occurring to them, like taking the bus home after school, simply longing for the comfort of their own homes.”

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