Playground shooting suspect in court

March 17, 2009 4:23:15 PM PDT
The suspect in a playground shooting that left two people dead was in court Monday for a preliminary hearing.Kareem Savage is accused of spraying the bullets near a Mantua playground last September.

Families who lost loved ones there want justice, and were at Savage's court hearing Monday.

Miles Mack and Darren Hankins were killed. In their deaths, families lost people they love, and communities lost people they'd come to depend on.

The Mack family left court glad that 20-year-old Kareem Savage has been ordered to stand trial for the murder of Mantua basketball league organizer Miles Mack and a 19-year-old player, Darren Hankins.

They were killed and 4 people wounded when bullets were fired onto playground at 36th & Aspen after a tournament last September.

For Macks' family, hearing the details of what happened at Monday's preliminary hearing was painful.

"We never really got play-by-play on how it went down. So it was like re-living in my mind... And it hurt. Thinking of his last moments," said Morgan Mack, the victim's brother.

Savage was also held as a co-defendant in a murder that occurred in North Philadelphia last July. In that case, 46 year-old Cortez Ennis was shot in the face while standing in his doorway.

According to police statements, Savage reportedly admitted pulling the trigger in both shootings, saying he was high on Xanax prescription pills when asked to shoot people he didn't know for things he knew nothing about.

One case may have stemmed from a drug dispute and the other an alleged assault.

"What it says is there is far too much violence in community. There is far too much willingness to take human lives or put at risk for things that are meaningless," said Assistant District Attorney Brian Zarallo.

Miles Mack was shot as he awarded trophies to champion teams. Ironically, he started his baskeball league to reach young people like Savage, at risk of commiting or being victimized by violence.

"To listen to him, somebody tell you to go do something... You go grab a gun and shoot them without thinking or knowing the people in either case. It's sad. It sounds like he may have been crying out for help. And Miles probably would have been there for him," said Tracey Mack, Miles' sister.

Savage was on the lam from the July murder when he allegedly opened fire onto a crowd of 100 people on that Mantua playground.

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