Father watches as son gunned down on porch

April 25, 2011 3:21:17 PM PDT
As police continue the search for the suspects who shot a teenager to death on the porch of his home, his father says he can't get the haunting image out of his mind.

18-year-old Jarell Seay died after suffering two gunshot wounds around 5:45 p.m. on Easter Sunday in the 1300 block of North 55th Street in West Philadelphia.

"I saw my baby in a pool of blood, he was biting his tongue. I tried opening his mouth up to get him some air, clear the airway, save him and pray for him," said Joel Seay.

Police tell Action News the incident began when two men walked up to the home and knocked on the door. The Seay family had just finished Easter dinner.

Joel Seay opened the door and, he said, two men asked if Jarell was home.

Police say that's when Jarell Seay met the two men at the door and proceeded to walk outside to the front porch.

However, Joel felt something wasn't right.

"I stepped out on the porch with them, asking them 'Who are you?' and 'What do you want with him?' One of the guys wouldn't even turn around."

Authorities say words were exchanged on the porch and then one suspect opened fire, hitting Jarell in the chest.

"The guy turned around with the gun and it was so fast, so fast. He shot my baby, I couldn't protect him," Joel said.

The two men then fled, running down 55th then onto Master Street. Police say one of the suspects dropped a cell phone and left a piece of it behind.

"I tried to beat myself up. I tried to blame myself, but I don't know what else I could have done," Joel Seay said. He says he never saw the two men who killed his son before, but would recognize them if he saw them again.

Friends and relatives are baffled.

Jarell appeared to have escaped the trappings of the inner city. He had a two-parent household, both were hardworking Christians. Jarell attended Wyncote Academy, a private school in Montgomery County and played on the basketball team. He was set to graduate in June.

"That's why it doesn't make any sense. He was supposed to be graduating and having a happy, successful life and you hear something like this," said Kirk Hittnger of the Wyncote Academy.

It remains unclear what led to the shooting.

"That God for Jarell and the years that I had him," said Joel Seay.

Anyone with information can call Philadelphia Police at 215.686.TIPS (8477) or submit a tip on the police website.

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