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14-year-old boy shot to death ID’d by Philly police

Robert Yocum III was remembered as a bright boy with an ever-present smile and a passion for one dish in particular his grandmother makes.

Police on the 800 block of Bridge Street where Robert Yocum, 14, was killed and a 15-year-old girl was wounded in a shooting Friday afternoon.
Police on the 800 block of Bridge Street where Robert Yocum, 14, was killed and a 15-year-old girl was wounded in a shooting Friday afternoon.Read moreSTEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer

Robert Yocum III was identified Saturday by police and family members as the 14-year-old who was killed Friday afternoon in a drive-by shooting in Northeast Philadelphia’s Summerdale section.

A 15-year-old girl who also was shot has not been identified and her condition Saturday was not known. She was listed in stable condition at Jefferson Frankford Hospital on Friday night with a wound near her right eye, police said.

They disclosed no new details Saturday about the shooting, which occurred shortly before 4 p.m. Friday in the 800 block of Bridge Street, near where Yocum lived. He was shot in the chest and was pronounced dead about a half hour later at Einstein Medical Center.

» READ MORE: 14-year-old boy killed and 15-year-old girl wounded in shooting in Summerdale

In a tribute posted on GoFundMe on Saturday, Cathy Trerotola described her grandson “Bobby” as “a bright and beautiful boy ... taken from us way too soon.”

She called his death “a sens[e]less killing over words” but did not elaborate. She did not respond to requests for comment.

“He could always make me smile no matter what,” wrote Trerotola of Croydon, Bucks County, no doubt because, she said, he had an ever-present smile.

Yocum spent every holiday and many weekends at her home, Trerotola said in the GoFundMe post. And along with his smile, she could always count on something else when he was there.

“I would ask him what he wanted for dinner he would always ask for the same thing my meatball casserole. LOL his favorite ... ,” she wrote, adding that every visit ended with “I love you and a hug and a kiss. Our family has lost a big part of us. ... Our family is devastated.”

The shooting came one day before a “March for Our Lives” demonstration in Philadelphia, one of hundreds that took place in nearly every state across the country Saturday — and part of a student-led movement that attracted thousands to the National Mall in Washington.

One of the students who led the Philadelphia rally was Damier Holley, a 10th grader at the Workshop School.

As the city grapples with a persistent gun violence problem that has left more than 1,000 people shot so far this year, according to the controller’s office, and 222 homicides as of late Thursday night, down slightly compared with 236 for the same period last year, Holley put words to those numbers.

“We are all the targets,” the 15-year-old told the “March for Our Lives” participants, while the Yocum family mourned the loss of a boy one year younger.