Street renamed to honor boy, 5, killed in crossfire 30 years ago

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Street renamed for boy killed in crossfire 30 years ago: Vernon Odom reports on Action News at 6 p.m. (WPVI)

Balloons were released at 60th Street and Springfield Avenue in memory of Marcus Yates, a 5-year old child shot to death by a stray bullet 30-years ago Wednesday.

Marcus and 10 other children were playing inside a deli that was at this corner. Two rival drug dealers opened fire, hitting Marcus Yates in the crossfire and two other children, including his brother.

It took less than two weeks for Philadelphia police to track them down.

"Actually, at that time we rose up to over 500 killings in the city," said retired Det. Jim Dougherty. "And subsequently the posses were driven out of the city by good police work."

Some of the retired detectives who worked on the case came to this 30-year commemoration, which featured the renaming of the 6000 block of Springfield street Marcus Yates Way.

Yates' mother clutched Kevin, Marcus' Cabbage Patch Kid, as she and her surviving sons presided over Wednesday's dedication. The ceremony included many of children, now parents themselves, who survived the shooting that day.

"I still react to guns," said Rochelle Whittington. "When I hear them I cry."

Had he survived Marcus Yates would be 35 now and this 30-year landmark brings back awful memories for his family and the community.

Sadly, all these years later, the mindless violence continues in so many communities virtually non-stop.

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