'Scholar athlete' dies after Easter shooting in Philadelphia

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Friday, April 6, 2018
'Scholar athlete' dies after Easter shooting in Philadelphia
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'Scholar athlete' dies after Easter shooting in Philadelphia. Dann Cuellar reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on April 5, 2018.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A 16-year-old Philadelphia boy who was described by his school as a 'scholar athlete' has died after a shooting on Easter Sunday.

William Bethel was shot shortly before 6 p.m. in the 800 block of South Street.

Police say Bethel suffered a gunshot wound to the left pelvis and was admitted in critical but stable condition.

Police say he was pronounced dead at 11:40 p.m. Wednesday.

There has been no word on a possible motive for this shooting, and no arrests have been made.

"It's a terrible tragedy. There's been no prior contact with the police department, nothing to indicate he was in any trouble or brought this to himself," said Capt. Jack Ryan. "Now his family is devastated, and this young man has lost his life for no reason at all."

Bethel was a student at Boys' Latin of Philadelphia Charter School.

His death marks the second such tragedy for the school community in recent months. 18-year-old Jahsun Patton, a Boys' Latin honor student and football player, was murdered in Harrisburg over Thanksgiving break.

From BoysLatin.org

The school released the following statement Thursday:

"With the heaviest of hearts, we share the news of the tragic passing of William Bethel, a high school sophomore and beloved member of our Boys' Latin community. Bill was a member of the distinguished Class of 2020, our inaugural middle school class.

Bill was loved and respected by his peers and teachers. He was full of kindness and had a magnetic spirit. He was a leader with a warm heart and a gentle smile.

Bill was a scholar athlete, participating in boxing, football, and basketball as well as achieving honor roll.

He is remembered by his Boys' Latin family for his strong character and courage. Bill will be missed but ever-present in our hearts and minds."

Bethel's friend, Paul Bernisky said, "He was a really nice kid and he didn't really bother anybody. He was just really nice, really athletic, and everyone liked him."

Neighbor Toni Adiletto said, "I used to sit right here on the porch in the summer and all the kids used to just ride up and down the street on their bikes doing wheelies. He just seemed like a very, very nice boy, very nice. It's heartbreaking."

His friend, Andrew Sultan added, "He loved his mom, and he loved his dad. He always talked about them."

Apparently he was also a loyal friend. Sultan remembers getting stuck on a bus in the middle of a snowstorm for hours, the bus going nowhere, but he says Bethel refused to leave him behind.

"And William, he never got off the bus, he always stayed with me. Always stayed, he stayed with me all the time," Sultan said.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Police say there is a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.


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