Samir Jefferson, a 14-year-old waiting for a bus on his way home from school in Philadelphia, was shot 18 times according to police reports.
The attack occurred Monday afternoon at around 3:30 p.m. in Feltonville on the corner of Rising Sun and Wyoming avenue. The two assailants reportedly fired off 36 shots at the young boy, and he died at the local Temple University hospital just a short time after.
The shooting was witnessed by a number of people standing outside of a pharmacy near the bus stop, where it was partially recorded by CCTV surveillance footage. The two gunmen chased Samir Jefferson after exiting their vehicle and shot him down before fleeing, leaving the teenager for dead.
“We believe he is a student at a nearby high school,” said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. “A vehicle, maybe two, pull up. Two males get out and start shooting at him, chasing him… They find a teenage boy laying on the sidewalk. He’s shot many, many times.”
Samir Jefferson reportedly attended Thomas Edison High School and was in 9th grade. “Our hearts ache for each and every family and community in Philadelphia that has been affected by gun violence,” the school said in an official statement. “We stand united with all those across the city who are heartbroken and outraged by the tragic loss of life of our young people and reiterate our collective call to action to stop the violence.”
Authorities are searching for answers to learn what happened but have come up with no known motives or suspects at this time. Two unnamed suspects were questioned with possible association to the Philly shooting, but no charges have been filed against them in connection to the crime. The two men were allegedly questioned due to their vehicle’s similarity with the one in surveillance footage.
Samir’s sister told NBC News that her her mother was heartbroken over having “lost her youngest son.”
“It’s really not going to be the same without my little brother because he really [brought] joy to our family,” she said.
According to NBC News, the family is grieving Samir Johnson’s sudden passing and calling for justice.
“What did you gain except for becoming a murderer, except for taking somebody else’s child?” another one of Samir Johnson’s family members asked.
Neighbors and loved ones arrived at the scene of the crime in support, writing “R.I.P. Samir” on the sidewalk in red spray paint.
“It was like a lot of ‘boom, boom, boom,'” one woman who lives nearby told local reporters. “Luckily, me and my son was in the house so I’m just thankful for that.”
Mazzie Casher, leader of Philly Truce, a community patrol, took to the streets to search for the assailants after speaking with ABC News, telling reporters that they want to inspire hope in these dark times.
“Earlier today, we lost another young life to senseless gun violence–the fourth since yesterday,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said during a press conference Monday night. “My heart grieves for the victims, their families, and this city. While we cannot bring back those lost, the Philadelphia Police Department will ensure that these cases are fully investigated so that these victims and their families receive closure and justice.”
The shooting occurred just a day after 21-year-old Temple University student Sam Collington was shot and killed in an off-campus robbery. Another 16-year-old boy was killed in North Philadelphia on Sunday as well, after being shot eight times.
At least 198 children have been shot in Philadelphia this year, according to Philly police. 40 of the victims died, which is more than the last two years combined.
City Commissioner Omar Sabir called for the city to do something about the increase in gun violence, as the homicide count in 2021 rises to 508 deaths. According to city data, the record-high homicide rate is not only a 12% increase since last year, but marks the deadliest year on record in Philadelphia’s history.