Cops: Kensington CAPA senior accidentally slain by classmate
James G. Becker III, 17, was shot Thursday. The incident was overshadowed by the fatal shooting of a cop 2 hours later.
JAMES GERARD BECKER III, whose friends called him Ray or Jib, would have gotten such a kick out of yesterday's Eagles quarterback trade, his family said last night.
The Kensington CAPA High School senior "would have had a field day with that," said his uncle Tony Becker, standing in a small kitchen in his brother's house.
The teen's father, James G. Becker Jr., chimed in: "He wanted to work in sports any way he could get into it."
But his son's career dream was dashed Thursday when he was accidentally shot by classmate Ivan Oberholtzer inside Oberholtzer's bedroom in Kensington, a police spokeswoman said last night.
The shooting happened at 3 p.m. - about two hours before Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III was shot, a police spokeswoman said.
According to police, Oberholtzer, 17, said the two were playing with a gun he found in his house and he accidentally shot Becker, 17, of Hazzard Street near Gaul in Kensington. The suspect's father and brother heard the shot, and his mother called 9-1-1, a police spokeswoman said.
Becker, an avid basketball fan with a mind for statistics and a love of family, succumbed to his injuries about 7 p.m. at Hahnemann University Hospital.
Police charged Oberholtzer, of Susquehanna Avenue near Ambler Street, with aggravated assault, firearms violations and other crimes. The investigation is continuing.
The teen's father said that he lost his best pal, and that life is so different now.
"I miss him so much. Jimmy polished me up. Jimmy made me the man I am today," Becker said.
He described his son as a generous teen who enjoyed food and sometimes treated friends to visits to Arby's followed by cheesesteaks at Franco's and topped off with ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery.
Counselors from surrounding high schools and principals from nearby district schools visited Kensington CAPA on Monday to provide grief counseling and support to students and faculty, said district spokeswoman Raven Hill.
Principal Lisette Agosto-Cintron said last night in a statement: "The KCAPA family is deeply saddened by this tragic event and extends its heartfelt sympathy to Jimmy's family. Though it is hard to believe that he is not with us anymore, our fond memories of him and his shy smile will be with us forever."