It was a summerlike night Friday and residents were sitting on their porches when two young men on bicycles pedaled down Malta Street in Kensington.
Without stopping, they fired at one rowhouse, hitting a father and his 2-year-old son on their porch around 9:15 p.m.
"This is our block," a neighbor heard one of the guys on bikes saying.
Then "they just started shooting," said the neighbor who, fearing retaliation, only agreed to speak if his name wasn't published. He said he heard about a dozen gunshots, then ran toward the father and son.
The street riddled with shell casings, the men rode away, turning right on Westmoreland Street, as neighbors cried out and rushed to help.
The baby, brought inside the house, was bleeding and crying "hysterically," said the neighbor.
"Everyone was screaming, 'Call 911. The baby was hit,' " said a woman who also lives on the block and did not want to be named. She had been watching TV inside her house when she heard gunshots, then ran outside.
"Besides being terrified and not knowing why he was bleeding all over the place, he was scared," she said of the child. "The father didn't even realize he was shot because he was so concerned over the baby," the woman said.
The little boy was rushed by police to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. A neighbor said the boy's mother, who was at the hospital with him, said he was in stable condition Saturday, hit twice, not four times, as police initially said. The neighbor who spoke to the child's mother said both wounds -- one in an arm and the other in a leg -- were in-and-out. One gunshot tore a hole through the boy's wrist and the other exited through his buttock, she said.
"Everyone is just shook up and afraid" about the shooting, the woman said.
An East Detectives police supervisor on Saturday confirmed that the boy was shot twice.
The boy's 25-year-old father, who was shot in his right knee, remained in stable condition Saturday at Temple University Hospital.
Police on Saturday were still searching for the shooters. They said they did not know if the father was the target. Neighbors said they didn't recognize the two men.
The boy's mother was at work at the time of the shooting, one woman said.
On Saturday morning, neighbors had cleaned up the blood on the porch. Markings made by police remained on the street where 16 shell casings were found, police said.
A gold Chevrolet Cavalier parked in front of the house was pocked with bullet holes. One bullet had pierced the driver's side window, and another had dented its front windshield.
Both shooters, said to be riding BMX-type bicycles, were described by police as black men in their late teens to 20s. One was described as about 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, wearing a black shirt and braided hair. He was carrying a duffel or book bag. The other was described as about 5-foot-11 and was wearing a light shirt. Anyone with information should call East Detectives at 215-686-3243.