Philadelphia police said it appeared a 12-year-old boy shot himself as he was hanging out with friends in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.
Police responded to a call about a shooting on the 3400 block of Ridge Avenue shortly after 12:30 a.m. and found the child sitting on the front steps of a home and “bleeding heavily” from a gunshot to the lower part of his left leg, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
Police rushed him to Temple University hospital, and he was later transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Small said.
Officers investigating the shooting found a trail of blood leading from the front steps into the home and up to a third-story bedroom. There, they found a “large amount of blood” and a bullet on a mattress that was on the floor, the chief inspector said.
The early stages of the investigation determined the boy had shot himself, police said. They didn't reveal if it was by accident.
Small added that there were three other children present in the home, two of whom live there.
The boy becomes one of at least 93 kids shot in Philadelphia this year, the youngest whom was a 3-year-old toddler shot when two gunmen got out of a car in the middle of the street and fired at his father and another man. The boy survived, but the men died.
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On Wednesday, police released surveillance video of the shooting in hopes of being able to find the gunmen.
The latest child shooting in Strawberry Mansion also came only a few hours after Philadelphia joined 15 other cities as part of a national violence intervention initiative.
Over the next 18 months, President Joe Biden’s administration will convene leaders and community members from the selected cities to “facilitate peer-to-peer learning, and provide technical assistance,” the White House said in announcing the strategy.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney welcomed provisions targeting illegal guns.
“What we need as cities is the help from the federal government when it comes to controlling the flow of guns and, frankly, the flow of drugs,” he said. “Certainly, our police can handle on the street the day-to-day stuff that needs to be handled, but when the guns are flowing into cities across the country, there’s got to be something the federal government can do, and I’m hoping that they do that.”
There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.