As police continue to investigate a school shooting that sent two students to the hospital, the family of the teen initially accused in the incident is now breathing a collective sigh of relief.
A shooting occurred Friday shortly before 3:30 p.m. at the Delaware Valley Charter High School at 5201 Old York Road in the Olney section of the city. Police say a teen boy, who attends the school, pulled out a handgun inside the school’s gymnasium and then the weapon fired, striking an 18-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy.
The girl was taken to the hospital and eventually discharged while the boy remains in stable condition.
Police say there were seven students inside the gym when the shooting took place and that the entire incident was caught on surveillance video, which officials used to identify alleged suspects.
According to police, school security officials provided information which led them to the home of a 15-year-old boy in South Philadelphia.
“My phone started ringing,” said the boy’s aunt. “My sister’s home was surrounded by cops and helicopters.”
The boy's aunt claims her nephew was actually on his way home at the time of the shooting before he was confronted by police.
“He came home from school like he does every day and when he got to his front door, this is what happened to him,” she said. “You don’t bum rush a 15-year-old or hold him down like he’s already a criminal!”
Police say they later learned however that the information provided by the school security officials concerning the boy was inaccurate. They determined the teen was not involved in the shooting and they released him. He will not be charged.
The Delaware Valley Charter High School released a statement thanking parents for their support and ensuring they are working to address and maintain school safety. The statement did not comment on the police's allegations that inaccurate information was provided by school security officials.
“They originally said he was on video and he was the shooter,” said another family member. “Come to find out he’s not on video."
Police eventually took another teen into custody for questioning while another turned himself in on Saturday. Meanwhile, the wrongly accused boy’s family says they feel vindicated in their belief that the teen is a promising young man with a bright future.
“He’s going to college,” The boy's aunt said. “He don’t get into no drama! He might have a little attitude but he’s just like every other teenager out here."