Sadeek Clark-Harrison loved to “take things apart and put them back together,” said Charles Clark Bolden, uncle to the 12-year-old boy who was killed Sunday in Philadelphia’s 437th homicide of the year.
Bolden described a youngster on “on his way to either being an engineer or an architect,” before a person shot through the door of his Frankford home in the early hours of the morning. The bullets pierced the child’s head after he went to answer a knock at the door.
Sadeek’s uncle was one of dozens of people who gathered Monday evening at a vigil held at the home on the 5000 block of Ditman Street where Sadeek lived with his mother Lisa Clark.
People carried bundles of balloons and arranged candles on the ground in remembrance of the boy, who was a sixth grader at Warren G. Harding Middle School.
“They knew him. They knew him. They called his fucking name,” Clark shouted before a growing crowd. “They knocked on my door. They called my son name… So whoever y’all are, y’all were scared of a 12-year-old fucking child… and y’all took him away from me. Why would you do that?”
In the hours after Sadeek was killed, Philadelphia police recorded three more homicides, bringing the year’s tragic tally to 440 — a death toll unseen since the 1990s. Among the dead are more than 100 child shooting victims.
As of November 15, the Philadelphia Police counted over 3,300 shooting incidents, a more than 60% increase from last year, and close to 2,000 shooting victims, an increase by more than 50%.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner spoke at the vigil about the danger of retaliation.
“Any shooting in Philadelphia, retaliation is a concern,” said Krasner. “The way people react at such an emotional moment sometimes goes in a very negative direction. And we’re looking at more lost lives, more wasted lives. And we don’t want any of that.”
Krasner acknowledged the complicated history between communities impacted by gun violence and city police while asking for help finding the person who shot Sadeek. “We want the community to assist us,” the DA said. “So that we can bring justice in a court house instead of on the street.”
Bolden issued a plea to the crowd in accordance with Krasner’s sentiment and pleaded for an end to the cycle of “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.”
“It ain’t about snitching,” he said. “Snitching is when you’re a part of that life, and you living that life and you and your [partner] get caught and you tell on him. You’re not snitching when you see something happen to anyone and you report it because you have a heart. You see somebody get killed, you say something because you have a heart.”