Community Mourns Teen Who Was Gunned Down After Basketball Game

A community is mourning a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed after a basketball game in Southwest Philadelphia.

Tyhir Barnes was playing in a basketball league game at a playground on 60th Street and Baltimore Avenue Monday evening. When the game ended, Tyhir and some friends were leaving the court when a gunman came out of an alley and opened fire.

"Last night all the games went well without a hitch," said Willie Gooden, one of the organizers of the basketball league. "No arguing, no fussing. [We were] packing up, taking the scoreboard, the blower and leaving then you see kids running, you see parents ducking and you hear gunshots."

Tyhir was shot in the face while a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy were shot in the arm and leg.

The three teens were taken to the hospital. While the 14-year-old and 16-year-old survived the shooting, Tyhir died from his injuries.

"[He was] outgoing, funny and loved the game of basketball," said Tyhir's mother Tanisha Thomas. "He was trying to pursue his rapping career. My heart is in so much pain. I want those people, whoever did this to my son, caught." 

Police believe Tyhir was ambushed because of bad blood that stemmed from the outcome of a basketball game last week.

"He[Tyhir] was with the 60th and Baltimore team that won the game a couple days ago," said Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark. "There was a fight at the game last week, I believe it was on Thursday. As a result, members of the 56th Street team, we don't know if they were teammates or people that came to watch the team, afterwards pulled out a gun and shot him."

A vigil for Tyhir began around 5 p.m. Tuesday at the basketball court on 60th and Baltimore Avenue. Tyhir attended Boy’s Latin of Philadelphia Charter School and had just graduated the 8th grade. Tyrone Simms, a member of the group Concerned Men of Cobbs Creek, told NBC10 Tyhir was a good kid who wasn't even involved in last week's fight.

"This young man had nothing to do with any of the nonsense that was going on down here," Simms said. "Now he's gone. Tyhir was a good young man. We do this league for the kids and to keep them out of trouble and give them something to do for the summer."

Vincent Chinn, a community activist, told NBC10 Tyhir's death is just the latest example of violence in the neighborhood.

"The gun violence is crazy," he said. "They carry guns like we carry wallets and ID! Everybody has a gun! It's mayhem!"

If you have any information on the shooting, please call Philadelphia Police.

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