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  4. US: 8 students injured in mass shooting in Philadelphia, fourth incident in as many days | VIDEO

US: 8 students injured in mass shooting in Philadelphia, fourth incident in as many days | VIDEO

The mass shooting on Wednesday marks the fourth such incident in Philadelphia's transit system in as many days, each involving a fatality. Philadelphia police released CCTV footage showing three armed exiting from a car and opening fire at a bus stop on Wednesday.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Philadelphia Updated on: March 07, 2024 9:43 IST
US, Philadelphia, mass shooting, students injured
Image Source : AP Police inspect the site of the shooting in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia: At least eight high school students waiting to board a city bus after classes were wounded by gunshots by suspects who jumped from a car and opened fire in Philadelphia on Wednesday, marking the fourth incident in as many days on the transit system. No deaths were reported in this incident, as compared to the previous three shootings that have involved a fatality.

At least two students were critically wounded at the bus stop, including a 16-year-old who was hit nine times, the police informed. The others were in stable condition. Police then received numerous 911 calls about a “mass shooting on the highway near Dunkin’ Donuts,” in northeast Philadelphia, according to police spokesperson Tanya Little.

According to Kevin Bethel, the city’s police commissioner, the students from Philadelphia's Northeast High School, ranging in age from 15 to 17, were waiting for the bus around 3 pm (local time) when three people emerged from the car, which was waiting at the scene, and fired more than 30 shots. The police department uploaded CCTV footage of the incident on platform X.

On 3-6-2024 at 2:57 pm, three masked males exited a dark blue Hyundaionata and opened fire on a group of juveniles as they waited at a bus stop at Rising Sun Avenue and Cottman Avenue. A total of eight juvenile victims were rushed to local hospitals, two of which are listed in critical condition," the department said.

Reactions to the 'mass shooting'

The scene was cordoned off with yellow police tape in the aftermath of the shooting, with dozens of evidence markers lying on the pavement. The injured teens were taken to Einstein Medical Center and Jefferson Torresdale Hospital, according to John Golden, a spokesperson for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA. Two other buses were also hit by gunfire, but there were no reports of injuries to passengers or the driver.

The shooting took place near Crossan Elementary, which was dismissing students at the time but pulled them back inside and locked down, according to Monique Braxton, deputy chief of communications for the Philadelphia school district. It later got an all-clear from police.

Mayor Cherelle Parker, standing at the scene with the city police commissioner, the prosecutor and the school superintendent, said she wanted people to know that “we will not be held hostage, that we will use every legal tool in the toolbox to ensure the public health and safety of the people of our city.”

Superintendent Tony Watlington Sr. said officials were “absolutely heartbroken and angry that innocent children walking home from school would be impacted by gun violence, and we agree with the mayor: Enough is enough.”

Philadelphia plagued by repeated shooting incidents

Wednesday’s shooting followed shootings the previous three days in which someone was killed while riding, entering, or leaving a SEPTA bus. Tuesday’s shooting occurred when a verbal argument and a physical fight began between two passengers, police said. One of the two passengers exited, turned and fired two shots from a 9 mm handgun, hitting a man later identified as 37-year-old Carmelo Drayton. He died shortly afterward at a hospital.

On Monday, a 17-year-old student was killed and four other people were wounded when gunfire erupted at a bus stop. The victims included two women who were riding on a bus. On Sunday, a 27-year-old man was killed by another passenger moments after they both got off a bus. Witnesses said the two had argued, but a motive remains under investigation.

No arrests have been made in any of the shootings, Frank Vanore, deputy commissioner of the Philadelphia police department, said on Wednesday. SEPTA’s chief of transit police Charles Lawson said while severe crime overall was down in the transportation system, a pattern that has emerged over the past year and a half is people carrying weapons, usually illegally, getting into an argument and then opening fire.

“We’re going to target individuals concealing their identity. We’re going to target fare evasion. We’re going to target open drug use,” Lawson said. “We’re going to target every criminal code on the books.”

(with inputs from AP)

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