Teen Suspect in Rittenhouse Square Shooting Identified

The teenager who surrendered to Philadelphia police Saturday for the alleged robbery attempt and subsequent shooting in Rittenhouse Square has been identified as a nearby resident.

Mehdi Fraiji, 17, of South 15th Street near Christian Street, has been charged as an adult in the shooting of a 39-year-old bicyclist who tried to break up an alleged robbery in the center of the downtown park last Tuesday night.

He surrendered at 4 a.m. Saturday morning, police said.

A Good Samaritan was shot trying to break up a robbery in Rittenhouse Square. NBC10’s Cydney Long has new information about the incident.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition for four bullet wounds to the mid-section, Chief Inspector Scott Small said. He was expected to survive, Small said at the time.

A 39-year old man tried to stop a robbery on Tuesday night in Rittenhouse Square, said Philadelphia Police. The search for suspects continued Wednesday morning.

Police gave an updated account of the alleged attempted robbery-turned-violent in a statement announcing Fraiji's identity and charges.

The teen and at least one other male robbery approached two people in Rittenhouse Square and announced that it was a robbery. The victim then intervened. That's when Fraiji allegedly took a gun that another robber was holding and shot the victim.

The alleged robbers then fled without taking anything from the victims. They were last seen running toward 19th and Walnut streets.

A 39-year-old man was shot four times after telling two gunmen to stop robbing a group inside Rittenhouse Square, the popular Center City park that was crowded on a warm October night. Police were still looking for two suspects as well as the three to five victims of the initial robbery.

Witnesses to the shooting, which occurred at the park along Walnut Street between 18th and 19th streets, took to social media to say gunshots could be heard from sidewalk cafes lining the park. Video from some passersby showed crowded dinner tables on the warm October night.

Police Lt. John Stanford said police issued a warrant for the arrest of a 17-year-old. Officials said the teen's parents cooperated in the investigation.

The robbery victims know each other and cooperated with the investigation, Stanford said.

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