Investigators say a final act of heroism is what saved the 11-year-old boy's life.
Police say the victims, identified as 31-year-old Carmen Medina and her 39-year-old boyfriend, Thomas Gorman, were shot multiple times in the upper torso and pronounced dead at the scene.
Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small tells Action News, "Shots were fired within close range because the fired spent shells are within feet of both of the victims' bodies."
According to police, it was approximately 11:20 p.m. Tuesday when multiple 9-1-1 calls were made reporting shots fired in the 200 block of East Gurney Street in the city's Kensington section.
Police say the shooting took place around a SUV parked on the block. When officers arrived on the scene they found Medina's body outside the driver side door - Gorman was slumped over in the passenger seat.
Investigators believe Medina went to that location to have a conversation with the male suspect. That conversation escalated into a verbal altercation and Medina then allegedly walked back to the vehicle.
Police say the suspect followed, approaching the SUV, opening the driver side door and opening fire.
After shooting Medina, the gunman allegedly pointed the weapon at her young son, who was in the back seat. That's when Gorman jumped in, shielding the child from gunfire.
As a result, Medina's son was not injured.
"Anyone who was inside that car was very, very lucky to survive the gunshots that were fired. It was a large caliber semi-automatic handgun," explained Chief Inspector Small.
Homicide detectives worked with a female friend who was in the back seat of the SUV along with Medina's son in an effort to get more details about the incident. Both are now safe in the company of family members.
The shooter was last seen running southbound in the 2800 block of Swanson Street. He is described as an African American male standing 6'2-6'3 with a heavy build and a full beard.
If you have any information you are urged to contact police at 215-686-3334.