An Olney teen died today from a gunshot to the head after a confrontation with an adult who was hit with a snowball in Feltonville, police said.
It was Teven Rutledge's 16th birthday when he was shot while sitting on the steps of a friend's rowhouse in the 4800 block of D Street at 3:37 p.m. yesterday, police said.
He was pronounced dead at 11:34 a.m. at Temple University Hospital, police said.
Rutledge, of the 400 block of Lindley Avenue, was with friends throwing snowballs when one hit a passing adult in the face, Chief Inspector Keith Sadler said.
"It's horrendous to shoot somebody over a snowball," Sadler said at a new conference at Police Headquarters late this morning.
It was unclear whether the teen meant to hit the man, but Sadler said that was irrelevant. The man exchanged words with the teen and then left. He returned with a handgun soon afterward and shot the boy.
Sadler said detectives hoped to get an arrest warrant for the man, who they believe lives in the neighborhood, but the police needed more witnesses from the community to come forward. The man's identity was not released.
A nearby house was searched on Sunday and narcotics were found, but not the suspect, Sadler said.
"I can't believe this. It's crazy," said Shaquantia Yung, 16, a friend of Rutledge's, as she tentatively approached the crime scene this morning.
Yung said she met Rutledge through Travis Davis, another teen who lives in the house where the shooting occurred.
She said that they had gone to the movies together and that Rutledge would hang out at her house to watch videos and play video games.
"He was still young. He was a happy person. He never did anything wrong," she said.
A nearby resident, however, said that teenagers would hang out in front of the house and taunt people walking by.
"They were talking at people, making jokes at people," said Tracey Cooper, 40, the block captain of the 4900 block of D Street. She did not know the teens except that they began to gather at the house after a family moved there a few months ago.
Another neighbor said the teens were "sometimes rowdy," but said the behavior was that of "typical kids."
On the steps of the house this morning were a few lit candles and stuffed animals and blood. A 25th District patrol car was parked in front of the house.