Sircarr Johnson Sr. sat hunched in a chair in front of his son’s clothing store, Premiére Bande, in West Philadelphia on Monday morning, proudly dressed head-to-toe in an outfit designed by his 23-year-old son.
The glass door to the store behind him was shattered by a bullet, one of dozens fired on the street less than 12 hours before.
Johnson, who held Sircarr Johnson Jr. in his arms as his son died in the hail of gunfire Sunday night, was shattered, too.
“How the bullet don’t hit me? How it don’t hit me?” he sobbed.
Johnson’s son and namesake was one of two men killed when gunmen opened fire during a Fourth of July cookout that Johnson Jr. was having Sunday night at his store on 60th Street near Walnut.
The second victim was identified as 21-year-old Salahaldin Mahmoud in a news release from State Sen. Sharif Street Office’s Monday afternoon. The release said Mahmoud was a first cousin of Street’s wife, April.
A 16-year-old girl was also wounded in the gunfire but survived her injuries, police said.
The three victims were among 20 people police said were shot in Philadelphia between 1:53 a.m. Sunday and 4:25 a.m. Monday. Five of whom died from their wounds.
According to his father, Johnson Jr. began designing urban streetwear in his grandmother’s basement when he was just 14 and pursued his passion through to adulthood, launching Premiére Bande in 2018.
“There is no reason he should be dead. He didn’t do anything in his life to deserve this,” his father said.
Johnson Sr. said his relatives always celebrate when the men in their family make it to 23 years old, because his father died at that age.
“And my son made it to 23,” he said, “but he didn’t make it past that.”
Johnson Jr. even posted about turning 23 earlier this year on his Instagram page.
“It’s been a long year. But I made it to see 23. ... I’m turning up for all those that couldn’t see it come to motion. Let’s ball,” he wrote.
In August, Johnson Jr. celebrated on Instagram the birth of his own daughter, whom he lovingly refers to in his posts as “my heart,” “a princess,” and “the boss.”
Johnson Sr., who wore two T-shirts his son designed on top of one another along with a ripped pair of jeans splattered with neon paint also designed by his son, was surrounded by friends at the scene Monday morning.
Shattered glass lined both sides of the street, and blue chalk circles outlining where the shell casings and bullet fragments fell dotted the ground at 60th Street and went around the corner onto Walnut Street, as well.
Television news reports from the scene Sunday night said there were so many fragments and casings that police had to create handwritten evidence markers at the scene, which numbered well over 100.
On Sunday, Johnson Jr. posted a flyer to his Instagram account, announcing that he was holding a Fourth of July anniversary cookout to celebrate another year of success.
“Everything free starts at 6:00,” he wrote.
Police did not identify how many people were at the cookout when the shooting began shortly after 10:30 p.m. According to authorities, Johnson Jr. suffered several gunshot wounds to his torso and was pronounced dead at 11:09 p.m.
Police said Mahmoud died from a gunshot wound to the head. The 16-year-old, who was shot in the legs and buttocks, is listed in stable condition.
Police did not release a motive or suspects in the case and said no guns were recovered at the scene.
Street’s office said the state senator will hold a news conference Tuesday morning at City Hall, along with Mahmoud’s family; District Attorney Larry Krasner; community leader Bilal Qayyum, president and executive director of the Father’s Day Rally Committee Inc.; and other elected officials and community leaders to “speak on this tragedy and the investigation.”
Among the other victims killed over the holiday were a 21-year-old man who was shot several times in his stomach and thigh on the 5900 block of Hazel Avenue in West Philadelphia at 1:53 a.m. Monday; an 18-year-old man who was shot in his chest at 11:21 p.m. Sunday on the 2100 block of West Sedgley Avenue in North Philadelphia; and a 21-year-old man who was found with a gunshot wound to his chest at 3:11 a.m. Sunday on a driveway along the 1300 block of Westbury Drive in Overbrook Park.
Four other shooting victims remained in critical condition, with the rest being listed as stable, including a 15-year-old boy who was shot in his leg and foot on the 6000 block of Walton Street in West Philadelphia at 10:36 p.m. Sunday.
Two teenage boys were shot shortly before 5:30 p.m. Monday near North 33d Street and West Oxford Street in Strawberry Mansion. A 14-year-old boy was shot once in the head and listed in “extremely critical” condition, police said, and a 15-year-old boy was shot once in the foot and in stable condition.