It happened just before 9 p.m. on the 1900 block of West Ontario Street at the Jerome Brown Playground in the city’s Tioga-Nicetown section.
Authorities believe the young victim was hit by stray bullets. The violent incident was all caught on video.
“The entire incident was captured on cameras that are at the playground, and it’s very tragic. It shows this 15-year-old female actively playing basketball, actually dribbling the basketball, when she suddenly collapses when she gets shot,” said Chief Inspector Scott Small with the Philadelphia Police Department.
The teenager remains hospitalized in extremely critical condition.
A 33-year-old woman, who was also playing basketball, was shot in the leg. She is in stable condition.
During Wednesday’s biweekly public hearing on gun violence, police officials stressed the importance of the public’s assistance in cases like these.
“Bullets don’t have names and these bullets are hitting innocent people, and in this case, it was an innocent 15-year-old girl and another woman got shot in the leg. So we need help,” said Deputy Commissioner Ben Naish.
Violence in Philadelphia continues to surge at record levels, and the numbers involving children are nothing short of alarming.
According to police, 137 people under the age of 18 have been shot in Philadelphia so far this year. Thirty-two young people under the age of 18 have been shot and killed.
Action News spoke with Jameela Muhammad, with the Philadelphia Anti-Drug Anti-Violence Network, who says this shooting really hits home because the 15-year-old victim used to play basketball with her son.
“We’ve got to change the mindset of these people,” she says, “let them know that it is not the norm just to be out there killing people. It’s not the norm. It’s not OK.”
Deputy CommissionerJoel Dales says that while there is no such thing as an acceptable level of gun violence when kids are involved, he takes it personally.
“With what we have, we are doing our best as far as trying to protect our children. That’s a priority for me. I have children and I look at these kids as my kids as well and that’s a priority for me,” he says.
Investigators say there is surveillance video of a shooting, but the video does not pick up any images of the people responsible.
Anyone with any information is as to contact police at 215-686-TIPS.
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