Victims identified in Lawncrest quadruple shooting; 2 teens arrested

Sunday, April 30, 2023
Victims identified in Lawncrest quadruple shooting; 2 teens charged
Victims identified in Lawncrest quadruple shooting; 2 teens charged

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Three people are dead and a fourth person was wounded following a quadruple shooting in the city's Lawncrest neighborhood on Friday.

Officials from the School District of Philadelphia confirmed on Friday night that at least two of the deceased victims are Philadelphia students.

One victim is an eighth grader and another is an 11th grader from The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School Inc., officials say.

Police identified the three victims on Saturday.

They have been identified as 17-year-old Malik Ballard, 18-year-old Khalif Frezghi, and 14-year-old Salah Fleming.

Police have also arrested two teenage males in connection to the quadruple shooting.

A 15-year-old and 16-year-old were located inside a black Ford Edge by police on Friday evening.

They were arrested and charged with firearms violations.

"My heart is very heavy because of the number of children we have lost. The number keeps climbing. It's a crisis in the city and we must stop it," said Veronica J. Joyner, the founder and chief administrative officer at The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School Inc.

The shooting happened around 3:30 p.m. on the 5900 block of Palmetto Street.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Ballard on the sidewalk, Frezghi on the porch, and Fleming inside a residence.

Police say all three victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

A fourth victim, identified by police as a 16-year-old, was taken to an area hospital in a private vehicle. The teen was placed in stable condition after suffering a gunshot wound to the stomach.

There is no word on the fourth victim's identity.

Officers say shortly after the incident they located the Ford on the 500 block of East Wyoming Street.

They also recovered a firearm within the residence at the scene.

Neighbors in Lawncrest say they are tired of the ongoing violence.

A mother told Action News she had to walk her daughter home through the grisly crime scene on Friday afternoon.

"She asked me, 'Mom what happened?'" recalled the mother. "I said 'Baby, something bad happened.' I thought that would be the end of her asking, and she said, 'Well what happened?' And I said, 'Someone died.'"

"This is getting worse and worse, and something needs to be done," added another woman at the scene. "There's violence across the whole U.S. but Philadelphia has a problem and something needs to be done.'"

Just two weeks ago, the Lawncrest neighborhood was the epicenter of another violent shooting. In that incident, a gun battle erupted outside the Lawncrest Recreation Center.

Officers say in that case nearly 30 shots were fired, including a bullet that went through the window of a daycare.

"It's frustrating 'cause again, I know the work that our men and women are doing in trying to stop, trying to prevent, these types of incidents from happening," said Deputy Commissioner John Stanford with Philadelphia police. "But again, we can't lose hope, because if we lose hope, everyone in this city will lose hope."

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.

RELATED: Check the 6abc Neighborhood Safety Tracker