Slain 12-year-old was living unsupervised, police say

Posted: July 05, 2007

A 12-year-old boy was shot to death in a hail of gunfire last night in Camden while sitting in a car parked in the Branch Village public housing complex.

The boy, James Coleman, was shot multiple times and died at the scene. Police were alerted to the shooting at 11:08 p.m., a time when many neighbors said they assumed the noise was fireworks.

It was unclear whether anyone else was in the car or whether the boy was the killer's intended target. Authorities described Coleman as a Camden resident and said he had run away from home and lived mostly unsupervised.

He was killed inside a 1994 Oldsmobile, which was parked near 10th and Van Hook Streets in the Centerville neighborhood.

There was a car crash nearby, which injured another child, but police do not believe that accident was related to the shooting. That child's injuries were not life-threatening, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said.

Later today, a 17-year-old was shot to death in another part of Camden. Investigators said they don't believe that the teen's killing is related to the Coleman slaying.

Authorities said they had no suspects in either of the homicides.

Authorities asked that anyone with information call Investigator Jim Pisano at the Prosecutor's Office at 856-225-8400, or Camden Police Detective Eric White at 856-757-7420.


Contact staff writer Troy Graham at 856-779-3893 or tgraham@phillynews.com.

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