A 24-year-old man said he pulled out his gun and shot three teens in self-defense on the SEPTA Route 58 bus early Thursday because they were attacking him, Philadelphia police said.
Police found the three boys with leg wounds just outside the northbound bus while it was stopped on the 7200 block of Bustleton Avenue in the Castor section of Northeast Philadelphia shortly after 1 a.m.
A 16-year-old boy shot in his left thigh was taken by police to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital. A 15-year-old boy with gunshot wounds in his right thigh and right buttocks and a 17-year-old boy shot in his right knee were taken to Einstein Medical Center. All three were in stable condition, police said.
Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum of Northeast Detectives said Thursday afternoon that witness interviews and bus surveillance video were given to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, which is reviewing whether anyone should face charges.
The shooter has a permit to carry his gun, Rosenbaum said. The man was sitting in the back of the bus when the three teens approached him and an argument ensued, Rosenbaum said, declining to elaborate.
The shooter was taken to Northeast Detectives for further questioning and his gun was recovered. Police have been unable to speak to the teens, who were still hospitalized, Rosenbaum said.
Jane Roh, spokesperson for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, declined to say Thursday afternoon whether charges would be filed, citing the ongoing investigation.
Earlier Thursday, Chief Inspector Scott Small had described the scene: “There’s a lot of blood on the bus and off the bus” from the gunshot wounds.
Three other passengers and the 35-year-old bus driver were not hurt.