As police continue to investigate a school shooting that sent two students to the hospital, the family of the teen initially accused in the incident is now breathing a collective sigh of relief.
A shooting occurred Friday shortly before 3:30 p.m. at the Delaware Valley Charter School at 5201 Old York Road in the Olney section of the city. Police say a teen boy, who attends the school, pulled out a handgun inside the school’s gymnasium and then the weapon fired, striking a 15-year-old boy in the arm and grazing a 15-year-old girl.
The girl was taken to the hospital and eventually discharged while the boy remains in stable condition.
Police say there were seven students inside the gym when the shooting took place and that the entire incident was caught on surveillance video, which officials used to identify alleged suspects.
During the investigation, police were initially led to the home of a 15-year-old boy on Bucknell Street in South Philadelphia, located near 1st District headquarters.
“My phone started ringing,” said Ayona Taylor, the boy’s aunt. “My sister’s home was surrounded by cops and helicopters.”
Police have not revealed what information led them to the teen’s home but it was enough for them to believe he was either the shooter or was with the shooter.
“He came home from school like he does every day and when he got to his front door, this is what happened to him,” Taylor said. “You don’t bumrush a 15-year-old or hold him down like he’s already a criminal!”
Taylor claims her nephew was actually on his way home at the time of the shooting. Detectives told NBC10 however that the teen was inside the gym when the two students were shot. After a few hours however, police determined the teen was not involved in the shooting and they released him. He will not be charged.
“They originally said he was on video and he was the shooter,” said Sandra Phillips, the boy’s aunt. “Come to find out he’s not on video.”
Police eventually took another teen into custody for questioning and are waiting for another teen to turn himself in later today. Meanwhile, the wrongly accused boy’s family says they feel vindicated in their belief that the teen is a promising young man with a bright future.
“He’s going to college,” Taylor said. “He don’t get into no drama! He might have a little attitude but he’s just like every other teenager out here.”