PHILADELPHIA, PA – Two teenage boys were charged on Friday in connection with a shooting incident at a Philadelphia subway station that left a 16-year-old bystander critically injured, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office announced.
The shooting occurred around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday on the westbound SEPTA platform at the 15th Street Station in the city’s Center City neighborhood.
The Philadelphia police stated that a 17-year-old male fired shots into a crowd, leading to a 16-year-old bystander being hit in the head. The victim was immediately taken to the hospital in critical condition and remains unresponsive.
Authorities, guided by the footage from SEPTA surveillance cameras, arrested a teenage suspect, believed to be the shooter, along with an accomplice. Both are being charged as adults, despite being minors. Six shell casings were also found at the scene.
Chief Inspector Scott Small revealed that the officers discovered a jacket, suspected to belong to the shooter, with a semi-automatic handgun hidden in it.
The incident caused a temporary halt in boarding at all train stations from 5th to 15th streets, raising apprehensions among passengers about their safety on the metro.
The prosecutor’s office noted that while the 17-year-old suspect has been charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and evasion of arrest, among other things, his 16-year-old companion faces charges of aggravated and simple assault, along with reckless endangerment. If the victim succumbs to his injuries, the prosecution could press more serious charges.
The shooting coincides with the ongoing legal feud between Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and the state legislature over control of crimes committed on the city’s transit system. Krasner, who is suing to prevent a new law that seeks to limit his jurisdiction over SEPTA crimes, deemed the plan to appoint a special prosecutor as unconstitutional.
The attorney general’s office was given a 30-day deadline, expiring this Saturday, to appoint a special prosecutor. However, no appointment has been made yet.
Authorities are asking for anyone with relevant information about the case to contact Philadelphia and SEPTA police.