THE VIOLENCE at a North Philadelphia recreation center the evening of June 26 began senselessly enough: A 14-year-old boy was sucker- punched in the face by an unknown assailant for unknown reasons.
In response, the boy, Lamar Morris-Taylor, went home and quickly returned to the Mander Recreation Center, 33rd and Diamond streets, with his father, mother and three siblings.
Morris-Taylor, in a calm and collected voice, yesterday told a judge that his father, Nyeme Taylor, 30, told him to square off and fight one of his attackers, but the teen was instead jumped by a group of boys.
In the melee, he said, he heard a gunshot and saw his father being shot multiple times in the head and body.
Yesterday, he pointed to Amir Jamal, 18, when Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti asked if the shooter that killed his father was in the courtroom.
Jamal's attorney, Joseph Santaguida, challenged Morris-Taylor's credibility because the boy had told police that the shooter had light-colored skin.
The stocky Jamal has a dark-brown complexion.
"You wouldn't consider this defendant light-skinned, would you?" the attorney asked.
"No," said Morris-Taylor, who added that he didn't know why he had given that description.
Municipal Judge Joseph C. Waters still held Jamal for trial on a charge of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
Also wounded were Morris-Taylor's sister Kianna Burns, 15, who was shot in the left leg; Shariah Street, 6, shot twice in the right side of the face; and Tequanna Dancy 10, who was hit by a bullet fragment on the left side of her face.