A 6-year-old girl was hospitalized in stable condition after being struck in the chest by a stray bullet in front of her family’s home Wednesday night in West Philadelphia, police said.
Police were called just before 9:20 p.m. to respond to a reported shooting in the 900 block of North 42nd Street, said Chief Inspector Scott Small. When officers arrived they found evidence of a shooting scene and were initially told by neighbors that a 5-year-old girl had been shot and was rushed by private vehicle to an area hospital.
The girl, who was later determined to be 6, was taken to Temple University Hospital and was listed in stable condition. She later was transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Small said.
Police found 13 spent shell casings about 500 feet north of where the girl was shot.
“She was playing on the sidewalk right in front of her home,” Small said. “She was playing with other little children.”
The kids heard what they thought were firecrackers and then the girl started crying, Small said. She had been shot by a stray bullet.
Detectives were checking nearby surveillance cameras for possible video of the crime.
Polce Commissioner Danielle Outlaw issued a statement: “Once again, we find ourselves grieving the senseless shooting of one of our precious children. In this instance, a beautiful six-year-old girl was shot while enjoying a warm summer evening in her neighborhood.
“This is not acceptable, this not normal, and this is not something that we should ever tolerate or become immune to as a society. Our children are our future, and we all have a duty and an obligation to keep our children safe from harm. We will utilize all available resources in securing justice and promoting healing for all who are affected by this senseless and shameful act of violence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the young child and her family,” Outlaw said.
The shooting follows the fatal wounding of 7-year-old Zamar Jones on Saturday in the 200 block of North Simpson Street, also in West Philadelphia. He died at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on Monday.
There was a community vigil for Zamar earlier Wednesday evening.