Aaron Toole, 19, of East Oak Lane, was arrested a month later and charged in the fatal shooting. He allegedly had opened fire on Anderson and another 17-year-old boy after one of his friends had argued with the two, police said. Toole's only prior arrest was for marijuana possession in December, about seven weeks before the fatal shooting.
The teen is now a prisoner at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. Cooper, meanwhile, has become a prisoner of the unique, persistent grief plaguing mothers in Philadelphia who have buried slain children.
She seeks refuge from most of the outside world in her second-floor bedroom, and has started attending weekly counseling sessions. Phone calls and visits with friends and relatives usually end in tears.
"Having people around me can be a little bit too much," Cooper said, seated on a dark-brown sectional couch in her pajamas on a recent evening. Despite their good intentions, well-wishers saying that "things will get better" are a stale, hollow consolation that she's grown to disdain.
"Am I not gonna feel bad anymore?" Cooper asked. The tears streaming down her cheeks reflected the golden glow of a nearby lamp as she reached for a tissue.
"I cry every day; I pray every day," she said, "I hope that one day I can get myself up out of here and get on with my life."
But for now, Shantashi and her mother, Marion Cooper, still find themselves hoping that Rashi will walk through the front door, or run down the stairs after the smell of breakfast begins wafting from the kitchen.
"What I wouldn't give for him to come through the door and sit here and say something to me," said Marion Cooper, gazing through the Plexiglas door facing the street where her grandson died.
The same street will host a neighborhood gathering and memorial service for Rashi on Saturday, the six-month anniversary of his slaying. Shantashi Cooper is thinking of using the event as a platform to ask neighbors to surrender guns to police.
"You can't save a life with a weapon," Cooper said. "You can't save yourself — you can't save anybody." n