When gunfire punctured the night in West Philadelphia, three teens sitting on a rowhouse porch started to run.
All three were shot, and two managed to take refuge inside a rowhouse in the 200 block of South Ithan Street. The third - the oldest in the group at 18 - fell to the ground with multiple wounds, including a shot to the head.
Hakim Griffin remained in critical condition yesterday at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania while his friends, ages 14 and 17, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Standing in the doorway of her two-story rowhouse, Griffin's grandmother, Cynthia Griffin, said she was in her home caring for a disabled son when gunfire broke out shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday.
"All I know is that I was in the house feeding my son and I heard a pop, pop, pop," said Griffin.
She said her wounded grandson was driven by friends to Mercy Hospital. He was later taken to HUP.
The 14-year-old was shot in the left foot and was reported in good condition at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The 17-year-old was shot in his rear side and was in stable condition at HUP, police said.
Griffin said investigators indicated that two guns, "a big one and a little one," were used in the attack as she pointed to large holes and small ones dotting her porch.
Her grandson, she said, and his friends often gathered on her porch on the narrow block between Walnut and Locust Streets near 56th Street, but there had never been any fights or violence there, she added.
She said her grandson was a respectful young man and as far as she knew was not involved in criminal activity.
Police said they were still searching for a motive and trying to identify the gunmen. There have been incidents involving rival teens in the area, but police said they were unsure whether that led to the shooting.
Looking at the dozen or so bullet holes in her porch and front window, Cynthia Griffin offered this summation: "These kids are killing and shooting each other for no apparent reason. . . . Our kids are killing each other left and right."