Suspect wanted after Philadelphia charter school hit by gunfire, police say

Police were called to Antonia Pantoja Charter on the 4100 block of North American Street around 6:30 a.m.

Thursday, October 7, 2021
Philadelphia charter school hit by gunfire; suspect sought
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Philadelphia officers say eight bullets were found in and around the charter school.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Staffers at a school in Philadelphia's Hunting Park section arrived Thursday morning to find bullet holes in some of their windows.

Police were called to Antonia Pantoja Charter on the 4100 block of North American Street around 6:30 a.m.

"I don't know, I'm just scared right now. What if it's during the day when kids are here? That's so scary," said Bosede Ogundowo, a parent of a 5-year-old boy at the school.

Many parents said they're alarmed to learn a shooting took place sometime in the overnight hours.

Police said they found multiple shots fired through the cafeteria window in the back of the school, as well as several broken windows.

Upon further investigation, officials say they found two bullets inside the cafeteria and six shell casings on the street. No calls for gunshots were reported in the immediate area.

"We are scared," said parent Celita Caupos. "They are not safe anywhere."

No students were in the building at the time of the shooting, according to police.

"It's not something as a parent you want to have a conversation about with your child who's in kindergarten, second and fourth grade. It's disappointing the crime is at a rate where it's affecting the child's school day," said parent Liz Serrano.

Parents showed Action News a note they got from the principal.

"Thank you for your patience. It's unfortunate that exterior designers thought it was ok to destroy school property. Our kids, our community deserve nice things," read a portion of the note.

Another shooting happened in front of the school earlier this year on the 4000 block of North American Street. The shooting prevented children from being inside the school, one staffer told Action News.

"This is happening all over the place. Now they're aiming at schools where children are actually at. Imagine if somebody got hurt," said Vanessa Medina, whose child goes to a school nearby.

Some parents questioning why the school wasn't closed Thursday.

"We were talking about why they don't close the school? I was surprised this morning," said Caupos.

It's believed that the gunfire happened sometime after school let out Wednesday.

No injuries were reported.

Authorities are reviewing security footage in hopes of finding clues that could lead to a suspect.

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