Teen Killed in Playground Shooting Was Innocent Bystander

Bernard Scott, 17, died tonight from his injuries after a playground shooting

A 17-year-old student died after being shot at a playground across the street from his Philadelphia high school.

Bernard Scott was an Overbrook High School student. Police say he was an innocent bystander of the shooting. Another 17-year-old, who was not immediately identified, remained in critical condition Thursday night.

Police tell NBC10 that this all began as a fight between a group of teenagers around 3:45 p.m. at the Tustin Playground at N 60th Street and Lancaster Avenue. Witnesses say two people pulled out guns and started shooting.

NBC10's Chris Cato talked with the Good Samaritan who found Scott in a blood-covered shirt, collapsed on the curb. Antoine Gardiner says he called 911 first, then rushed the teen to Lankenau Medical Center in his truck and wheeled him into the emergency room.

"I'm just talking to him, trying to keep him awake. I'm gonna get you to the hospital, just take it easy," said Gardiner, who didn't hear that Scott died until NBC10's Cato shared the sad news.

"Whew. Man. My heart just goes out to the family, I just wish I could have done a little more than what I did," said Gardiner.

Police say a third teen who was shot is one of the suspected gunmen. After being treated at the hospital, the 19-year-old will be taken into police custody.

The second gunman is 20 years old, police say, and they credit an eyewitness for helping identify him as the shooter.

Sharletta Ambey tells NBC10's Nefertiti Jaquez after witnessing the shooting, she watched as the gunman took off running. Ambey says she went speeding after him in her car.

"I proceeded to follow him, and as I got across Jefferson and I said to him, 'Why don't you stand right there and give yourself up.' He told me to mind my business before i got shot," said Ambey. She was able to flag down a police officer and point him out.

School officials say it happened as members of Overbrook's baseball team were practicing on a nearby field and that players ran for cover. Some students were inside for after-school programs and the building was locked down until 5 p.m.

Both alleged shooters remained in custody Friday morning.

Jerry Jordan, president of the Federation of Teachers, released a statement Friday regarding the incident.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the parents, families, friends and classmates of the Overbrook High School student killed yesterday afternoon. The PFT is also here to lend support to the faculty and staff at Overbrook, who are no doubt overwhelmed by yesterday's tragedy.

What occurred yesterday is another grim reminder that student violence is not simply a "school problem," but a societal one that requires our entire community to work together on solutions that will someday make these senseless incidents a thing of the past.”

On Saturday, around 12:50 p.m., street cleaners in the area found a gun on 59th and Columbia, about a block away from where the shooting took place. Investigators have not yet confirmed whether the gun is the actual murder weapon.

According to police records, there have been more than 50 shootings at recreation centers and playgrounds since 2010.

Just last week, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed a bill, banning guns at Philadelphia playgrounds and recreation centers. Violators would face a $2,000 fine.

Parents, with children at Overbrook H.S., recently responded to a school survey, with 20 percent saying they consider the area outside of the school "not safe."

Famous alumni of Overbrook H.S. includes actor Will Smith and basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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