The court case of a Grays Ferry boy arrested in August and jailed for three days for allegedly shooting a younger boy with a $3.50 plastic toy gun ended Thursday with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office withdrawing all charges.
Zahiem Salahuddin, 13, had been charged as a juvenile with simple assault, reckless endangerment, and possession of an instrument of crime for allegedly shooting the son of a city police officer in the stomach with a round plastic pellet.
Salahuddin, an eighth grader represented by the Defender Association of Philadelphia, maintained that he did not shoot the boy.
The Inquirer and Daily News reported Tuesday that District Attorney Larry Krasner informed the Defender Association that the charges would be withdrawn because the mother of the 7-year-old alleged victim did not call 911, but instead called friends who confronted Salahuddin before his arrest, and because her son did not identify him as the shooter.
Chief Defender Keir Bradford-Grey said Thursday she was pleased with the outcome, but added: "We need to fix the system that allows us to arrest a 13-year-old and hold him in custody for three days because of situations like this."
Officer Troy Brown, a Police Department spokesperson, said in an email Thursday: "The matter is under internal review."
Meanwhile, the alleged victim's mother, who has not been identified, said her son was traumatized and that Krasner failed him by dropping the charges.
"DA Krasner and his juvenile unit failed to turn this case into a teachable moment," she said, according to a statement provided to the newspapers by a public-relations firm. "Instead, they allowed outside political influence to cloud his judgment and dismiss the case, rather than seek a compromise for both sides."