PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police are seeking a 16-year-old youth in last week’s ambush shooting outside a Philadelphia high school that killed a 14-year-old and wounded four other teenagers after a football scrimmage
Police said Tuesday that the 16-year-old is wanted on active arrest warrants for a charge of murder and multiple counts of attempted murder as well as criminal conspiracy, theft, obstructing justice, evidence-tampering and firearms offenses.
The Sept. 27 shooting drew national attention around the U.S. amid a stream of mass shootings that have become chillingly commonplace amid the nation’s staggering murder rate. It also came just after Philadelphia surpassed 400 homicides for the year, only slightly behind the pace of last year’s toll, which ended up being the highest in at least six decades.
Police said the 16-year-old — earlier described only as a person of interest in the case — is “considered armed and dangerous” and anyone seeing him should not approach but call 911.
Police haven’t named other suspects but said earlier they were seeking five people who jumped from a parked sport utility vehicle and opened fire on the teens as they walked away from an athletic field at Roxborough High School. Nicholas Elizalde, 14, of suburban Havertown, was killed and three other teens were rushed to a hospital. One was treated at the scene.
Police said the shooters appeared to be juveniles, and they were also seeking a sixth person who remained in the vehicle. They said one of the shooters chased a 17-year-old victim down the street, striking him with shots to the leg and arm, and tried to fire as he stood over the victim but the gun either jammed or was out of bullets.
Police have said Elizalde is not believed to have been one of the intended targets. The teens taken to the hospital were all reported in stable condition after the shooting.
Hours before the shooting, Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, had signed an order banning guns and deadly weapons from the city’s indoor and outdoor recreation spaces, including parks, basketball courts and pools. A judge has barred the city from enforcing that order, siding with a legal challenge citing state law barring any city or county from passing gun-control measures.