Saleem West was the victim of an ongoing, and now violent dispute between two groups of teens in North Philadelphia.
West, 16, was riding his bike last Sunday down West Sedgley Avenue when he was ambushed by two other teens who opened fire and shot West in the back as he tried to get away.
Police aren't characterizing the dispute as a "gang" problem, but they are troubled by the violence and baffled because they don't know exactly what the dispute is over or why it triggered West's murder, according to Lt. Norman Davenport.
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"You know when you have homicides every day, sometimes you can become desensitized," Davenport said Friday as he announced the arrest of two teens police say were the gunmen. "But when you have a 16-year-odl riding a bike with his companion ... and he's shot in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, it's troubling."
Raheem Feaster and Tyreen Johnson — both 17 — were arrested and charged as adults with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and related offenses.
Feaster was picked up two days after West's murder for a second shooting, according to Davenport. Police are working to determine if the two are connected and they've launched a joint investigation involving the departments Homicide Division, Northwest Detectives Division and North Central Detectives.
Davenport said he couldn't say if the violence was "gang stuff" but "I just know we can't continue having teens with weapons killing other teens." He asked the people in the community to please come forward and "give us any intelligence."
West was gunned down on November 1 as he and a 15-year-old friend rode their bikes down the 2200 block of West Sedgley Avenue. Davenport said the gunmen drove past them on the street, parked their car, got out and ambushed the teens, firing off more than a dozen rounds.