David Chang

Death of 2-year-old Philadelphia Boy Ruled a Homicide

The medical examiner determined the boy suffered blunt force trauma injuries

An investigation is underway after the death of a toddler inside his Philadelphia home was ruled a homicide.

Police were called to the home on the 5000 block of Shisler Street in the city’s Oxford Circle section Tuesday night for a report of an unresponsive child. When they arrived they found 2-year-old Ja’sah Hicks unconscious. Hicks was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead about one hour later.

The medical examiner determined the boy suffered blunt force trauma injuries. His death was ruled a homicide.

No arrests have been made. On Friday, Acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter said it's obvious to investigators that Hicks was killed be someone he knew. 

"People should be caring for the children that are in their care and tragically ... people are murdering children," Coulter said.

Hicks is one of several recent young victims of violence in Philadelphia. Police said an 11-year-old boy was shot and killed by his older brother in the city's Overbrook section Monday while a woman was charged in the abuse and murder of a 4-year-old girl who was in her care in the city's Fairmount neighborhood.

A 10-year-old boy also remains in critical condition after he was struck by a gunfire during a drive-by shooting in Northeast Philadelphia.

The violence against children has hit the Philadelphia Police Department hard, Coulter said.

It has taken a toll on the community at large and police officers responding to the scenes, she said.

"Our folks are hurting," Coulter said.

The department has brought in counseling for officers, including hardened homicide investigators, she said.

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