Teen Dies, 3 Other Boys and 1 Man Hurt as Bullets Fly in North Philadelphia

4 teens shot along North 4th Street overnight appeared to be the targets of 2 shooters, Philadelphia police say

What to Know

  • A 14-year-old boy died after being shot in the head along North 4th Street.
  • Three other boys, ages 11 to 15, and a 24-year-old man were also struck as at least 20 bullets were fired.
  • Police wee in touch with the family of another teenager who may have pulled the trigger.

Loved ones gathered on 4th Street near Susquehanna Avenue Tuesday evening to remember a teen boy who was killed in a shooting that injured four other people.

"He meant a lot to me," Tyron Bates said during the vigil. "He taught me how to do stuff. He taught me right from wrong."

Bates' brother Tyree Bates, 14, was killed when two people, possibly including a fellow teenager, opened fire late Monday night in what investigators are calling a likely North Philadelphia neighborhood dispute.

Gunfire rang out just before midnight along North 4th Street near Susquehanna Avenue striking a group of people outside on the sidewalk and some cars parked on the block, Philadelphia police said.

Tyree Bates was shot in the head and died hours later at the hospital. Bullets also struck 11-year-old, 14-year-old and 15-year-old boys and a 24-year-old man, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. All those victims were listed in stable condition with gunshot wounds to various parts of the body.

All the boys live within a block of where the shooting took place.

"It was probably related to some sort of neighborhood dispute," Philadelphia Police Homicide Capt. Jack Ryan said.

The 24-year-old didn't appear to be the target, Ryan said.

The two shooters worked with each other as they fired at least 21 shots from opposite sides of the street, according to Ryan.

One of the shooters could be a teenager who is 15 or 16 years old, witnesses and victims told investigators. Police were in contact with the teen’s family in hopes of tracking him down.

"He gonna pay for what he did," Tyron Bates said. "He killed an innocent boy. A boy that was never into the streets. All he did was play basketball."

At least two of the boys injured in the shooting were released from the hospital. One of those boys spoke briefly about his slain friend.

"I'm feeling real sad right now," he said. "Why did it have to happen to him?"

Advocates from Philadelphia Ceasefire went to the neighborhood Tuesday morning to put up posters calling for an end to gun violence.

Ryan said investigators are reviewing surveillance footage and a $20,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest. 

"It's clearly an issue in the state of Pennsylvania, the city of Philadelphia ... with the availability of handguns when kids this young can be involved in something like this," Ryan said.

The boys were breaking summer curfew but don't have any criminal records, Ryan said.

Former Mayor Michael Nutter signed a curfew into place in 2015 requiring children under 13 to be inside by 9 p.m., minors 14 to 15 by 10 p.m., and minors 16 and older by 11 p.m. during the summer.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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