'My heart just sank:' Philadelphia charter school remembers 16-year-old shot to death

Saturday, September 26, 2020
Teacher reacts to shooting death of promising student
"My heart just sank," said Mekhi Parlow's homeroom teacher Sean Snyder.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Sixteen-year-old Mekhi Parlow was mild mannered and a good student, according to his teachers at the Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School in Philadelphia.

So news hit the charter school hard when police said Parlow had been shot to death along the 7100 block of North 19th Street in West Oak Lane after finishing his shift at Burger King early Thursday.

"My heart just sank," said Parlow's homeroom teacher Sean Snyder.

Snyder said he last spoke with the junior on Wednesday morning as he was getting students ready for a Friday quiz.

"He was spot on reviewing for the quiz. Almost wanted to answer every question. I had to say, 'Mekhi let someone else answer,'" Snyder said.

Already having lost 11th grader Ceani Smalls in 2019, Snyder said he knew something wasn't right when Parlow didn't log onto virtual learning Thursday morning.

"The thing that really made me worried is normally even if Mekhi oversleeps, he would say to me, 'hey, Mr. Snyder, I'm sorry.' But he never responded to any of my text messages," said Snyder.

Parlow is the latest MCSCS student to be a victim of gun violence in the last two years.

"Coming home from work as this one was doing, one ushering in his brothers and cousins and got shot in the back, another one getting off a SEPTA bus after going shopping," MCSCS founder and chief administrative officer Veronica Joyner said. "These are very good kids and it's just sad that they're being taken."

Snyder said he is going to remember Parlow for enthusiasm.

"His zest for life. He was always polite and respectful," Snyder said,

Burger King Sends Message

Police said they found eight spent shell casings along with a Burger King hat and two sneakers in the middle of the road several feet from where Parlow was collapsed on a sidewalk.

Parlow was a Burger King employee.

The fast food chain sent in its condolences to the family saying:

"We're deeply saddened to hear of the fatal shooting that took place involving a team member. Our deepest condolences go out to their family and friends during this devastating time. Through our BK McLamore Foundation, we plan to lend support to the family dealing with this loss."

RELATED: Burger King offers 'support' after 16-year-old employee shot, killed in West Oak Lane

According to police, 16-year-old Mekhi Parlow, of the 6700 block of North 18th Street was shot along 19th Street near 71st Avenue. He was shot in the head, police said.

Investigation into Shooting Death

Investigators believe there were at least three to four suspects. They said the shooter ditched a car in the back driveway of one of the homes in the area before fleeing.

"When we run the license plate, it comes up stolen during a home invasion robbery in the Northeast part of the city just recently," Philadelphia Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Small did not specify which home invasion the car is linked to.

Meanwhile, Snyder is asking for the violence to stop.

"Just get people to understand it has to stop. Our young people need to be able to live their lives not in fear," Snyder said.

MCSCS students and staff are planning a vigil for Parlow next Thursday.

Anyone with information about the incident or the shooter are asked to contact detectives.