Search continues for gunmen, driver in SEPTA bus stop shooting that injured 8 in Burholme

Vehicle matching description of getaway car impounded in Olney

Search continues for gunmen in SEPTA bus stop shooting that injured 8
Search continues for gunmen in SEPTA bus stop shooting that injured 8 in Burholme

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- GET THE LATEST HERE: Police ask for tips in Philadelphia bus stop shooting as search for gunmen, driver continues

Philadelphia police are on high alert Thursday as they continue to search for three gunmen and their driver after a shooting injured eight teens as they waited at a SEPTA bus stop in the city's Burholme neighborhood Wednesday afternoon.

Officers have been stationed out at Cottman and Rising Sun avenues Thursday in the wake of Philadelphia's latest mass shooting that has sent shockwaves throughout the community and its leaders.

Raw video: Philadelphia police provide update after 8 high school students shot at SEPTA bus stop

They're doing this to make their presence known after bullets went flying at the intersection Wednesday. While police are hoping this is not the new normal, they say it's what they're doing for now.

As local leaders push for more help, they're also vowing to crack down on the suspects in this case.

The district attorney and mayor said that the FBI, ATF, local police and the DA's office are all collaborating to find those responsible.

Overnight Wednesday, police said they may have found a break in their case after detectives confiscated a blue Hyundai Sonata that matches the description of the shooters' getaway vehicle.

Police have impounded a vehicle they say matches the description of a car used in a mass shooting in Philadelphia left 8 students injured.

The vehicle was found parked in the 400 block of Fern Street in the city's Olney neighborhood Wednesday night and was taken to a nearby impound lot.

Police now believe it was stolen from the 7th district. Sources say it was taken from the 500 block of Kendrick Street.

Philadelphia police have released video of a group of suspects wanted for opening fire on the group of students from Northeast High School.

IMAGE: Philadelphia police are searching for these suspects in connection with the mass shooting that injured eight students on March 6, 2024.

Video shows three suspects exit a dark blue 2019 Hyundai Sonata and open fire on the group at the bus stop.

VIDEO: Suspects wanted in Philly mass shooting that injured 8 at bus stop

VIDEO: Suspects wanted in Philly mass shooting that injured 8 at bus stop

The gunfire rang out around 3 p.m. and over 30 shots were fired at the scene, according to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel.

"At some point when the bus is pulling up and the kids are converging to get on the bus, three individuals exit that vehicle and then discharges multiple times," said Bethel.

Police say the suspects were last seen driving over the Tookany Creek Bridge toward Cheltenham Township. The Hyundai Sonata has dark tint on all windows and the "H" emblem is missing from the front of the vehicle.

IMAGE: Philadelphia police are looking for this 2019 blue Hyundai Sonata in connection with a mass shooting that injured 8 students on March 6, 2024.

Witnesses rush to help victims

Dave Carter, who works nearby, immediately stopped working when he heard the rapid gunfire.

"Fatherly instinct, military instinct kicked in so - it was aid and assist. [I] ran out over to the scene and saw a whole bunch of kids [lying] on the ground," he recalled.

WATCH: Authorities provide updates after 8 students shot at SEPTA bus stop in Philadelphia

Authorities provide updates after 8 students shot at SEPTA bus stop in Philadelphia

Eight students -- seven boys and one girl between the ages of 15 and 17 -- were shot.

Holly Castor, who also works nearby, described the terrifying aftermath.

"I looked over and there was four other kids lying down," Castor said.

She said she immediately started helping one teen who had been shot in the back.

"He was shot in his back -- his spine," Castor said. "I put pressure on it. There was a lady on the phone with 911. Because he was sitting, they told him to lay on his belly so he could stop the blood."

Police say a 16-year-old boy was also shot nine times. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

"His friend was sitting there holding him and crying, and telling him to keep his eyes open. 'Stay awake. Don't go to sleep. Stay with me. Stay with me,'" Castor recalled.

The other victims -- including two 15-year-olds, four 16-year-olds, and a 17-year-old -- were shot and wounded. All seven are listed as stable, according to police.

One woman who works at the nearby Quaker Diner heard the gunshots and ran out to try and help the victims. She reported seeing several juveniles wounded.

"Some of the kids came in here. [We] tried to keep them calm until their parents could come and get them," she said.

According to SEPTA, a Route 18 bus and a Route 67 bus were also struck by the gunfire near the scene. The Action Cam was at the Frankford Transportation Center where one of the involved buses was cordoned off by police.

SEPTA says there were no reports of any injuries to passengers or employees.

'Everything happened so fast'

Action News spoke with one of the eight victims Thursday night.

"I'm not shocked because things like this have happened in the past. The only thing that really shocked me is that I happen to be a victim of it," said a 16-year-old who does not want to be identified.

The teen is trying to recover physically and emotionally after such a traumatic incident. He was released from the hospital Wednesday night.

"I'm just taking it day by day honestly," said the 16-year-old boy. "I'm just glad to be home -- getting a lot of support from friends, family, peers."

He said he was waiting for his bus ride home on Wednesday when he heard more than 30 gunshots on Rising Sun Avenue. And without hesitation, he ran in the opposite direction.

"It's like a scene out of a movie, an action movie. Everything happened so fast. You have to be on your toes consistently if you want to make it out of a situation like that," he said. "As I was running, I felt a burning sensation in my back, but I ignored it because of adrenaline. But as I stopped, it just felt like I might of got shot."

Philadelphia mass shooting victim recalls fleeing gunfire: 'Everything happened so fast'

11 students shot within 2 days

Over the past two days, 11 students have been shot, Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker said.

Police are investigating the motive and working to determine if this shooting is connected to the quintuple shooting on Monday in Ogontz, where a 17-year-old from Imhotep Charter High School was killed while waiting at a SEPTA bus stop, two other Imhotep students were injured, as well as two passengers sitting on the bus.

The teen killed Monday was identified as Dayemen Taylor.

"This seems to be an ongoing trend now with the teenagers and it's not what neighborhood you live in anymore, it's the world we live in. Something's gotta change," said Roxanne Gambino Schroeder.

Wednesday's incident is the fourth shooting in less than a week involving a SEPTA bus.

On Sunday, 27-year-old Sawee Kofa was also shot and killed after an argument on a SEPTA bus in the city's Oxford Circle neighborhood.

And on Tuesday night, police say a man was shot and killed on a Route 79 bus Tuesday night in South Philadelphia.

RELATED: SEPTA vows 'aggressive' approach to combating gun violence amid recent deadly bus shootings

"Enough is enough"

During a news conference after the shooting, Mayor Parker said enough is enough.

"This is what's extremely important to me as mayor of the city -- that the people of the city know that we will not be held hostage, that we will use every legal tool in the toolbox to ensure the public health and safety of the people of our city," said Parker.

As a result of the recent violence, Commissioner Bethel says there will be a significant ramp-up of resources.

"I want parents and families to know that we're going to be along our corridors across the entire city of Philadelphia until we can figure out exactly what's going on," he said.

The city's top cop is calling on parents to check on their children.

ALSO SEE: New York governor to deploy National Guard, state police to combat NYC subway crime

"I asked every parent today, go in those rooms and look under those tables and in those closets and get those guns out of the house," said Bethel.

The scene of the shooting was like déjà vu for Keenan Hudson, who says he was locked up as a teenager for his role in a fatal shooting.

"I'm trying to give them a fair warning that there's a lot of space out there in jail for y'all," Hudson said. "It wasn't even worth getting into but it [but] still landing me nearly 15 years in prison as a juvenile. I went to prison as a 15-year-old kid."

He's now a mentor and author trying to encourage others to step up and help kids before they go down the wrong path.

"It's a collaborative effort. It's going to take the parents, yes, as well as city officials, but it's going to take the parents," he said.

Philadelphia School District Superintendent Tony Watlington says crisis counselors will be at the school Thursday to help any students impacted by this incident.

"We are just absolutely heartbroken and angry that innocent children walking away from school will be impacted by gun violence," said Watlington.

"We send them out to go to school we think they are safe and we just never know what's going to happen," said Doris Amelza. "These children are dying every day out here, somebody's got to do something. This doesn't happen in this neighborhood."

Northeast High School will operate on a virtual schedule through the end of the week.

Anyone with information in connection with these recent shootings is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.