Philadelphia’s Kingsessing neighborhood recovers from recreation center shootings

Half a dozen people are recovering from injuries they suffered during a shootout at a basketball game attended in Philadelphia’s Kingsessing section last night. 

The recreation center is one the city’s keeping open longer hours to give youth a positive safe place to be. Across the street from Kingsessing Recreation Center, Malachi Barnes is on his porch with his siblings.  The seven-year old says he heard the shots.”BARNES: I heard five shots.  FIEDLER: Were you asleep?  BARNES: Awake!  FIEDLER: Awake?  Where were you?  BARNES: Down there playing.  FIEDLER: Playing?  Were you scared?  BARNES: No.  My cousin Nadira was the only one who was scared.  I just was running and ran in the house.  All my family started to come out.  FIEDLER: What did they tell you to do?  BARNES: Go in the house and get out the window.  My dad said we gotta get out the window.  And then I don’t know what happened.  It was six people got shot.”His brother 15-year old Martez Medley says the neighborhood’s okay,”It’s bad but only on occasions though.  Like only this stuff happens in the Summer but other than that it’s like pretty quite nothing really going’ on,” he said.On the courts at the rec center, a man is playing basketball and there’s no sign of the shooting.Lucinda Warner looks out over the courts with her three granddaughters.  She’s block captain on a street around the corner.”It’s a nice neighborhood there’s nothing’ wrong with it,” said Warner.  “It’s what you make of it.  There’s riff raff everywhere but why bring it around the kids?  We got enough problems as it is you understand what I’m saying?  Instead of the kids picking’ up their ball now they’re gonna start picking up guns.”The family’s headed to the store down the street and usually they cut through the rec center courts.”But I just didn’t feel it today.  I was just gonna walk all the way through the path because this was where the shooting was happening and I just didn’t want to walk through there. A lot of feelings was hurt last night and we had a couple of people from off our block that plays in this field right here.”Standing nearby, eight year old Da’Shona Leigh worried about one of her friends who was at the game.  She used to think the neighborhood was okay, but not anymore.   “My grandma trying to find a different house so we can move,” said Leigh.On the other side of the rec center, in a plot of green between row houses, Aaron Fields is tending the community garden.  “I live across the street.  I grow different vegetables in here and when I harvest it I give it out to the community,” said Fields.The 44-year old recently moved back from Atlanta to help take care of his ailing mother.  He says he spent a lot of time at the rec center when he was young, but feels parents are letting kids down.”It’s not the teachers, it’s not the law enforcement, it’s the parents,” said Fields.  “But you know it takes a village to raise a child.  These days you can’t even talk to these kids or you can’t talk to the parents about saying’ you know your child did this, your child did that.  A lot of these parents need counseling classes.”  Fields, who works as a social worker, says he wants to see a larger police presence during games.

Below, we’ve created a map to show you where and when Monday night’s shootings took place in Philadelphia.  Click on the pins to see the times and descriptions of each shooting.

View Monday night shootings in Philadlephia in a larger map

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