Arrest in Basketball Court Killings

Popular community leader, Miles Mack, was one of the victims

One down, one to go. Kareem Savage, a 19-year old, is under arrest and charged in one of the city’s most heartbreaking and seemingly senseless killings this year.

Philly police say he is one of the two men who opened fire right into a huge crowd as trophies were being handed out after a basketball tournament at McAlpin Playground in Mantua.

Six people were shot. Two died:  Mack Miles and Darren Hankins. Police said Hankins, 19, had been the intended target back on September 11th.

Mack, who was 42, was a long-time community leader and coach. The sort of man who made a difference in people’s lives. The guy who kept kids out of trouble. 

More than one thousand people came to his funeral.

The Daily News memorialized Mack in an article after talking to people who knew him, this way: 

Tough middle-aged men, some who admit they've served time in jail, amble aimlessly through McAlpin Playground, at 36th and Aspen, and speak of Miles Mack as tears trickle down their cheeks. 

 "They don't know what they did, who they took," said Reese Boatwright, who sat on a nearby bench. "In this community, he was our Malcolm X. He always said, 'Don't fight.' Everything had to be talked out."

There was no talk before the carnage. No threats. Just bullets. It was just after 10:30 p.m. on the basketball courts, the championship games of the summer youth- basketball league that Mack, 42, had founded to keep kids safe and out of trouble. Mack and other leaders of the X-Tra Miles Developmental Basketball League prepared to hand out trophies to about 200 children, teens and parents.

Savage is charged with two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder.  He is also charged in the July murder of Cortez Ennis.  Police say they’re making progress on the second suspect in the playground shooting.

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