A 14-year-old Philadelphia boy was shot 18 times while waiting at a bus stop Monday afternoon — over an apparent social media beef.
Samir Jefferson, a ninth-grader at Thomas Edison High School, was waiting for a bus at about 3:30 p.m. Monday when two gunmen jumped out of a car and opened fire, WPVI reported.
The teen, who was standing near a Rite Aid pharmacy in the city’s Feltonville section, may have been targeted in the attack due to taunts on social media, sources told the station.
He was later pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital.
“A kid – like, what did a 14-year-old kid do to get hit 18 times?” asked a distraught Rite Aid manager, Vernice Weedon. “I feel so sorry for the family.”
“The fact that somebody can really sit here and kill a child like that, stand over his body and just shoot him up like that, is very, very sad,” Weedon said.
Jefferson tried to run to safety inside the Rite Aid, but didn’t make it. The gunmen also shot up the pharmacy’s exterior multiple times during the attack, WPVI reported.
Samir’s sister, who declined to be identified, said the slaying has devastated her family. Samir was his mother’s youngest son, she told NBC Philadelphia.
“It’s really not going to be the same without my little brother because he really [brought] joy to our family,” the late teen’s sister said.
Two persons of interest were questioned in the deadly shooting and were in custody Tuesday, but no charges had been announced, according to NBC Philadelphia.
Philadelphia has tallied 510 homicides this year as of late Tuesday, department data shows, surpassing its all-time record of 500 set in 1990 amid the peak of the crack cocaine epidemic.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement Monday Jefferson was the fourth victim of “senseless gun violence” since the previous day.
“While we cannot bring back those lost, the Philadelphia Police Department will ensure that these cases are fully investigated so that these victims and their families receive closure and justice,” Outlaw said.
At least 198 children have been shot throughout the city in 2021, and at least 40 of them died – or more fatalities involving juveniles than the previous two years combined, NBC Philadelphia reported.
A message seeking comment from Philadelphia police was not immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.