What to Know
- A man accused of shooting and killing an 11-year-old boy who was riding his bike in Northeast Philadelphia surrendered to police on Wednesday.
- Khaleek Cooper-Baldwin, aka “Kha,” turned himself in and will face murder charges in connection to the shooting death of Harley Belance.
- The boy’s father, Lourlor Belance, told NBC10 his son had turned 11 a month prior to the shooting.
A man accused of shooting and killing an 11-year-old boy who was riding his bike in Northeast Philadelphia surrendered to police on Wednesday.
Police issued an arrest warrant for Khaleek Cooper-Baldwin, aka “Kha,” in connection to the shooting death of Harley Belance. Cooper-Baldwin later turned himself in and will be charged with murder and other related offenses.
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Harley and a 14-year-old boy were riding motorized bikes along the 1500 block of McKinley Street Friday shortly before 7 p.m. when shots were fired. The boy was shot in the neck and taken to St. Christopher’s Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
"He is a boy, 11 years old. Eleven is a boy," he said.
The 14-year-old was shot in the right arm and the right ankle. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
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Police said a man was spotted firing shots across McKinley Street. They later identified the gunman as Cooper-Baldwin.
The shooting was part of a recent wave of gun violence in Philadelphia. As of Tuesday night, there have been 120 homicides in the city so far this year, up 26% from the same time last year which was one of the deadliest years in decades for Philadelphia.
Philadelphia city leaders took part in a City Council Special Committee hearing Tuesday aimed at curbing gun violence in the city. While police said gun possession arrests have increased and one in every two homicides have ended in an arrest, city council members, including Katherine Gilmore Richardson (D-Philadelphia Councilmember-at-Large), still expressed their concerns.
"My six-year-old was able to pull up the shooting on TikTok," she said. "Somebody got shot at one of our favorite malls."
The hearing's participants discussed several ideas, including curfew centers for teens who were out late and more patrols at rec centers. Philadelphia police officials said they're working on a plan for the summer. In the meantime, they want community members who have influence to help.
"I'm tired of seeing shootings where I hear from witnesses, or even the victim, 'Yeah, I had a fight two days ago and they threatened to shoot me.' I know we talk about how people don't trust the police but at some point, you've got to say, 'Listen. I want to protect my neighbor. I want to protect my child. My kid. My mother. My father,'" Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Joel Dales said.
Officials are also working on a $1.5 million pilot project aimed at tackling gun violence which includes new and updated cellphones for officers to improve communication.
There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.