Four teenagers were injured in a shooting near a high school in West Philadelphia on Wednesday, shortly after classes were closed for the Thanksgiving break, authorities said.
The students, two 15-year-old girls and two 16-year-old boys, were taken to hospitals and are in stable condition, Philadelphia Police Department first deputy commissioner John Stanford said at a news conference Wednesday.
The shooting happened just after 11:30 a.m. outside a beauty salon and about a block from Overbrook High School. Deputy Commissioner Stanford said a group of students were standing outside the saloon when someone in a passing silver SUV shot at them.
The police did not name the victims. A 15-year-old girl suffered gunshot wounds to her left shoulder and thigh, and the other 15-year-old girl sustained a gunshot wound to her left shoulder, police said in a statement. A 16-year-old boy was shot in the left hand and suffered a graze on his face, and the other 16-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound to the right leg.
Police said no arrests had been made and no weapon had been seized. Deputy Commissioner Stanford said it was too early in the investigation to know if the students had been targeted.
“Just another incident of gun violence in our city,” he said at the press conference.
Gun violence in Philadelphia was particularly bad this year. By August, more than 1,400 people had been shot in the city, a higher number than in the much larger cities of New York and Los Angeles. Officials are struggling to respond to the number of guns on the street. According to a city report released this year, for every illegal gun seized by Philadelphia police between 1999 and 2019, about three guns were legally bought or sold.
“We really need some serious help to fix our city’s problem with these guns,” Philadelphia school principal Tony B. Watlington said at a news conference Wednesday.
In September, 14-year-old schoolboy Nicolas Elizalde was killed and four others wounded in a shooting near Roxborough High School. The five teenagers were leaving the field after a soccer game when the shooting took place. Roxborough High School is about five miles north of Overbrook.
Four people, between the ages of 15 and 21, have been arrested in connection with the Roxborough High School shooting.