City leaders unveil safe path program after shootings near Philly schools

City leaders are speaking out about the surge of violence, particularly incidents near schools.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Officials with the School District of Philadelphia announced a new plan to address student safety amid a rash of gun violence near schools.

Chief of School Safety Kevin Bethel unveiled the safe path program at district headquarters on Thursday morning.

The program includes using $750,000 in grants to pay community organizations for increased supervision of students on their way to and from school.

Officials say that is in addition to the increased police patrols previously announced in 25 safety zones surrounding schools in high crime areas

Last week, school leaders in Philadelphia spoke out over the ongoing surge of gun violence in the city, particularly those incidents occurring near schools including the deadly shooting outside Lincoln High School.

The shooting happened at about 3 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18 near the intersection of Rowland and Ryan avenues, which is just outside the school.

Jeffrey Carter, 66, was fatally shot in the head by a stray bullet and a 16-year-old Lincoln High School student was shot in the back of the head as he ran away, police said.

Carter, who was driving by the scene, crashed his SUV off the road and was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

The 16-year-old was taken to the hospital with critical injuries.

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Jeffrey Carter, 65, was fatally shot in the head by a stray bullet, police said.

Detectives say two plainclothes officers were in an unmarked cruiser as the gunfire erupted and witnessed the incident unfold. The officers say there was a group of teens outside of a pizza shop when 21-year-old Aaron K. Scott showed up and opened fire.

After the shots were fired, the plainclothes officers got out of their vehicle and pulled their weapons.

Scott was arrested. He faces multiple charges including murder and aggravated assault.

At Simon Gratz High School in the last year, nine kids were shot to death -- three of them just last month, according to the school principal.

A group of students and Simon Gratz principal Leyondo Dunn recently spoke out about the violence to ABC News.
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Students spoke with ABC News, making their voices heard across the country as they are determined to get an education, but it hasn't been easy.

"It's a war zone, like with the drugs, with the guns, with the violence, it's a real war zone. It's a real dog-eat-dog world, like it's not for anybody that's soft," student Joshua Corneilius, 17, said. "If you live in Philly, you're going to naturally become hard ... like you're going to have armor, like you'll have a shield."

Meanwhile, the City of Philadelphia announced the second round recipients of the Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grants, part of the city's effort to reduce and prevent violence.

Four additional organizations will receive more than $2.5 million in funding: Norris Square Community Alliance, Somerset Community Center & Lighthouse Sports Complex, PowerCorps PHL and YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School.

More grant awards will be announced in the coming weeks.
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