Philadelphia

Men Fire 17 Shots at Teens Riding Bicycles Down North Philadelphia Street, Killing 1

A 16-year-old boy died after two men fired more than one dozen shots at him and his friend as they rode their bicycles down a North Philadelphia street, police said.

Saleem West and his 15-year-old friend were riding down the 2200 block of West Sedgley Avenue around 4:45 p.m. Sunday when they came upon four men sitting in a parked silver Buick with tinted windows.

Capt. Nicholas Brown of the 22nd District said the boys had an interaction with the men earlier in the afternoon and when they realized the same car was in their path, they tried to turn around. Just then, Brown said, two men then jumped out of the Buick, began chasing them and opened fire.

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The men unloaded 17 shots at the boys, according to Brown. One bullet hit Saleem in the back. He was rushed to Temple University Hospital where he died a short time later.

The men fled the scene and are still on the loose. The surviving teen told police he had never seen them before Sunday. Both boys grew up together in the neighborhood, Brown said.

A motive has yet to be determined, but Brown said investigators haven't ruled out road rage.

"That is an awful lot of shots to fire at two kids, especially if this was possibly road rage," he said.

Pastor Elbert Jordan was inside his nearby church with congregants when the shooting happened. He said violence in the neighborhood has gotten worse recently. Police stats show there have been more than two dozen shootings in the neighborhood over the past few weeks.

Jordan also said he wouldn't be surprised if road rage was at play. "When people see straight road, they just ride like they're crazy so there is a lot of road rage, there is a lot of that down here," he said.

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