15-year-old shot outside North Philly rec center; image of suspect released

It's still unclear what sparked the gunfire or if any arrests were made.

Thursday, April 20, 2023
15-year-old shot outside rec center; image of suspect released
Philadelphia police are investigating after a teenager was shot outside a recreation center on Wednesday afternoon.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police are investigating after a teenager was shot outside of a North Philadelphia recreation center on Wednesday afternoon.

It happened around 4 p.m. near 9th and Jefferson streets at the Dendy Recreation Center.

Police say a 15-year-old male was sitting on a bench when he was shot in the back by a masked gunman.

He was taken to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children where he was placed in stable condition.

Chopper 6 was overhead as police cordoned off parts of the rec center.

Since 2019, there have been more than 300 shootings at city rec centers.

"Unfortunately, now there's no place in the city of Philadelphia where there couldn't potentially be a gunshot," said Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke.

Volunteers at Dendy seem exhausted.

"Very tired. Very defeated, but you know I'm just a regular person, I don't know where they're getting these guns," said the worker.

Last week, the city held a press conference at Dendy to announce the installation of over 100 security cameras to be placed there and at 13 other rec centers.

It's all in an effort to deter crime.

But Brett Bessler, a Local 2186 union rep who represents some rec employees, says that's just not enough to keep people safe.

"There is nothing about adding security guards. Nothing about adding social workers. Nothing about adding recreational therapists," said Bessler.

No arrests have been made in Wednesday's shooting.

Police released an image of a suspect being sought in the case. The man was last seen wearing a white mask, a black North Face jacket, black sweatpants with distinct writing above the knees, and green New Balance sneakers, according to investigators.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous

Police are looking for this suspect in connection with the shooting outside Dendy Recreation Center on April 19, 2023.

Meanwhile, a vigil was held on Wednesday night for a man who was gunned down last week at Awbury Recreation Center in the city's Germantown section.

Jaclyn Satchel was surrounded by dozens of family and friends to remember her son, 24-year-old Donte Moore.

SEE ALSO: Man charged with murder after argument leads to deadly shooting at Philadelphia recreation center

"He was a great kid. I loved him and I'm always going to love my baby," said Satchel.

Police say they've arrested 23-year-old Zaire Ayers of West Philadelphia in connection with Moore's death.

"I wish he would have just done what he was supposed to and stayed at work like he should have instead of come here to play. But basketball was his life," Satchel said.

RELATED: Check the 6abc Neighborhood Safety Tracker