Video may provide clue in shooting at Philadelphia playground

Newly obtained surveillance video shows a dark colored car pull up to the entrance of the park ahead of the shooting.

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ByJaclyn Lee via WPVI logo
Friday, August 19, 2022
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A 22-year-old man was shot while playing basketball with about ten others in the East Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A 22-year-old man was shot while playing basketball in East Mount Airy on Thursday night.

He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The shooting took place shortly after 10:30 p.m. at Pleasant and Boyer streets.

Newly obtained surveillance video shows a dark-colored car pull up to the entrance of the park and two people walk up the park steps. Less than 30 seconds later, more than 20 gunshots ring out.

On Friday, chalk circles remained on the steps of Pleasant Playground where police believe the shooter was standing.

"I had not ever heard gunshots that close. I looked at my wife and I'm like, 'I think that was gunshot,'" said Connor Bell, who lives nearby.

Police say three people were playing basketball when a shooter walked up the steps and opened fire.

Police say one of the men playing basketball had a gun permit and fired back at the person who shot his friend.

The victim was semi-conscious, and officers rushed him to the hospital in critical condition.

Just days ago, five people were shot near a West Philadelphia rec center.

This week the mayor announced that the city will begin offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who fires a gun causing injuries within 500 feet of a school, rec center, or library.

On Friday, community activists and City Councilmember Cindy Bass gathered in prayer at the playground.

"For the money that we are putting in, we need to put in more. For the funding that we are allocating towards addressing violent crime, we need to put in more," said Bass.

Leaders of the groups '17 with Life' and 'Trust Factor Organization' emphasized the importance of outreach through mentorship.

"The kids around this neighborhood know us. They know us by face. They know us by the things we did in the neighborhood, and they know we stand for positive now," said 17 with Life founder Nasir Shawqi.

"We want to be on standby to make sure we can be of help to whoever is here and whoever needs the help," said Trust Factor CEO Zachery Frazier.

The Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Germantown discussed another effort: the Philly Safe initiative.

Rev. Dr. J. Henry Buck Jr. explained religious and business groups are working together on measures, including more neighborhood cleanup and more cameras.

"The prayer walks are fine. The vigils are fine, but people actually need to see some substance," Buck said.

So far police have not released a description of the shooter and are investigating a motive.