Basketball star dies from injuries, gunman charged

James Cole, 20, charged in Devin Bullock's death.
James Cole, 20, charged in Devin Bullock's death.
Posted: May 07, 2014

PHILADELPHIA Devin Bullock was barely two months away from graduating from high school when a gunman opened fire on a North Philadelphia street on a chilly evening last month.

For 12 days, he clung to life in the hospital, but he never regained consciousness. The senior at New Media Technology Charter School died Sunday night, shortly after police arrested a 20-year-old in connection with his shooting.

Bullock, 19, was captain of New Media's basketball team and had led the team to two city championships.

Short and stocky, with a big smile and an infectious laugh, he had a knack for odds-defying feats on the court and quiet discipline off it.

In February, after hitting a game-winning free throw in a division semifinal, he told the Philadelphia Daily News that he was estranged from his parents and lived on his own. He said worked 40 hours a week at a Foot Locker store to make ends meet.

His coach, Michael Green, remembers him dashing from practice to study hall to work - and, when he could, squeezing in time to help out at the junior varsity team's practices.

"He needed basketball as much as basketball needed him," Green said. "It kept him focused."

So passionate about the sport that he named his basketball "Michelle" (he once told Green he would "marry this girl"), Bullock was expecting offers from a few local schools and hoped to attend college in the fall. He wanted to go into business or sports medicine.

Administrators at New Media described him as dedicated and popular, an example for younger students.

"Whether it was a sixth-grade student to a 12th-grade student, everyone knew the type of person he was," principal Jeff Pascale said.

He was shot on April 23 around 5 p.m. on 25th Street near Thompson Street, police said. Two others were injured when someone opened fire from a car.

Over the weekend, James Cole, 20, was charged with attempted murder and related offenses in connection with the shooting.

Homicide Capt. James Clark said Monday that those charges would be upgraded to murder.

"It's my understanding he was walking down the street and was not the attempted target," Clark said. "It's tragic."

On Twitter, friends mourned Bullock's death Monday, posting photos and videos of the point guard on the court and in his cap and gown.

"One of the funniest guys I knew," wrote one. "It was a pleasure to play and get to know you."


awhelan@phillynews.com

215-854-2961 @aubreyjwhelan

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|