A 7-year-old Philadelphia boy is clinging to life after he was shot in the head as he played on his front porch, police and distraught relatives said.
The boy, identified by his mother as Zamar Jones, was struck in the head by one of more than 12 shots that rang out late Saturday as he played outside with other children on his West Philadelphia block, police and neighbors told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
A gunman opened fire on a group of people who were standing outside at the time, two of whom fired back, police told the newspaper.
A nurse who lives nearby performed CPR on Zamar until cops arrived and took him to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he remained Sunday in critical condition, the newspaper reports.
Zamar, who was shot on his porch near his toy race car and scooter, had lived on the block for several years and is well-known throughout the neighborhood, neighbor Makeeba McNeely said.
“He has best friends from the top of the block to the bottom of the block,” McNeely’s 13-year-old daughter, Zion, told the newspaper.
The boy, who is about to begin second grade this fall, is known for his love of popsicles, his green scooter and his dog and cat, the McNeelys said.
“He’s a beautiful kid,” McNeely said. “Inquisitive, curious — he’s a little boy. And he was playing.”
One suspect has been arrested, while two others are still being sought early Monday, police said.
“At this time there is one person in custody,” Philadelphia police said in a statement. “His information will be released upon completion of the investigation and/or formal charges.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement department officials were “heartbroken” by the shooting, characterizing it as “especially tragic,” WPVI reports.
“Although an individual has been taken into custody, that does not diminish the impact this senseless act has on the child, his family, and the entire community,” Outlaw’s statement read.
“Criminal acts such as this have no place in our communities, and we are committed to securing justice and promoting healing for all who are affected.”
The two other shooters fled the scene in a maroon Ford Taurus, which was later recovered in the city’s Overbrook section, WPVI reports.
“Enough is enough,” one man who lives on the block, Mark Thompson, told the station. “When we start hurting innocent children, enough is enough.”