Family of Overbrook High School teen killed speaks out

Bernard Scott

April 13, 2013 5:09:06 AM PDT
The family of the 17-year-old Overbrook High School student who was gunned down at a playground is speaking out.

Police sources say a crowd of upwards of 60 young people had gathered at a playground across from Overbrook High School on Thursday afternoon.

A fight broke out and five people pulled guns on each other. At least four shots were fired and one of the bullets struck and killed 17-year-old Bernard Scott.

"A part of me is still waiting to hear a phone call from him saying 'Mom can you pick me up?'" said Darshell Scott, the victim's mother.

Bernard, a 10th grader at Overbrook, was the middle one of Darshell's three sons; his family called him B.J.

They say he was the typical all-American teenager who loved his family and video games.

"He always looked up to me and always said he wanted to be just like me. Now it hurts to come home and wake up the next morning to know that I can't call or text him," said Keith Scott, the victim's brother.

Darshell says B.J. wanted to someday be a graphic designer for video games. His family says he was a good kid who did his best to avoid trouble.

However, trouble found him Thursday at Tustin Playground on 59th Street and Lancaster Avenue, across the street from Overbrook High School.

Police sources say Bernard appears to have been an innocent bystander when the bullets started flying.

Another 17-year-old boy is recovering after being shot in the backside. Scott was shot in the stomach and died a few hours after he was rushed to the hospital by a passing motorist.

"I kept thinking yesterday I was going to wake up and it wasn't going to be true. I'm still much in denial," said Darshell.

The incident brings up the issue of violence, especially in Philadelphia schools.

"This is devastating incident for the school district, for the school, especially for the family, said Superintendent William Hite.

Hite, and the district's top police officer, Chief Inspector Cynthia Dorsey, are urging students and parents to help stop the violence.

Dorsey says it's those planned altercations that need to be reported to teachers or to the district's hotline.

She also suggests informing students about the resources available at an early age.

"We think of violence in high schools and middle schools. We need to be more proactive and think of elementary schools and their students," said Chief Inspector Dorsey.

Meanwhile the police are still trying to sort out exactly what happened.

Charges have not yet been filed, but sources say they're convinced one of the two young men in custody is the one who fired the fatal shot.

Parents and students are urged to report troubling behavior to the district's hotline at 215-400-SAFE (7233).