Mistakenly shot teen dies

Posted: May 04, 2012

A 16-year-old boy who police believe was mistakenly shot in a hail of bullets Wednesday night in West Philadelphia has died, police said.

They have not yet released his name.

The teen died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was taken in a police patrol car after being shot multiple times around 8:10 p.m. Wednesday while walking out of Koury Grocery, a corner store at 62nd and Callowhill Streets.

Neighbors who heard the shots opened their doors to find the boy lying on the pavement beneath the store’s green and yellow awning, bleeding from at least four gunshot wounds.

Events began, police say, when a group of four teens, including the victim, were in the neighborhood visiting one of their aunts. They were asked to go to Koury’s for some food. The victim went inside while three others waited outside on the corner, police said.

When the victim walked out of the store, a Pontiac — which police said may have been black or green — pulled up to the corner. The passenger rolled his window down and fired two shots at the teens, hitting a wall. The shooter paused and then fired three more shots at the group, said Lt. John Walker of the Southwest Detective Division.

Bystanders rushed inside seeking refuge while neighbors called police.

The boy was shot twice in the head, once in the left side of his chest and once in his left arm, police said. A neighbor said she called the police and heard someone outside screaming, “Please save my brother!”

Police said the shooting may have been a case of a mistaken identity, and that the teens involved were not from the neighborhood and were not known to police.

Investigators were trying to determine whether the store’s surveillance system recorded the incident. Neighbors said the shooting may have stemmed from an ongoing conflict between neighborhood gangs.

The Pontiac fled east on Callowhill, then south on 61st Street, police said.

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