Police ID 3 suspects charged in shooting outside West Philly rec center; 5 injured

The gunfire erupted near the Shepard Recreation Center at 57th Street and Haverford Avenue.

Friday, August 19, 2022
Police ID 3 suspects charged in shooting outside Philly rec center
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The shooting happened as children were practicing sports inside the Shepard Recreation Center at 57th Street and Haverford Avenue just before 7 p.m. Tuesday.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police have identified the three suspects arrested in connection to a shooting outside a West Philadelphia rec center Tuesday night that injured five people.

The suspects - Tahmir Pickney, 24; Marlon Spurell, 22; and Azyear Sutton-Walker, 22, of Philadelphia - have all been charged with attempted murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault and related offenses.

Tahmir Pinckney (left), Marlon Spurell (center) and Azyear Sutton-Walker (right)

The shooting happened as children were practicing sports inside the Shepard Recreation Center at 57th Street and Haverford Avenue just before 7 p.m.

"We were just sitting there laughing and talking and after that, we heard two gunshots," a teen who did not want to be identified told Action News. "We thought it was fireworks at first, so we didn't run, but after that the automatic gun started going off, we all started running."

Police say at least two men opened fire from a white Dodge Durango. A total of 96 gunshots were fired.

Multiple guns were found on the scene. Police say two of the victims did have gun permits.

"It's very, very frightening and just really, really unfair for folks to have to live in an environment where people are wantonly firing guns without any care or concerns for the people around them," Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Christine Coulter said.

Two victims were on the sidewalk, another two were on the street and a fifth person happened to be driving his BMW through the scene when the gunfire erupted.

The five victims range in age from 17 to 25.

Two victims, a 21-year-old male and another man, were each shot once in the head and taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition.

The three other victims, a 22-year-old man shot once in the right hand, a 25-year-old man with a graze wound to the right shoulder, and a 17-year-old male with a graze wound to the back left side of his neck, were listed in stable condition.

No other injuries were reported, but police say there were kids practicing sports at the rec center, including football, basketball and cheerleading, at the time of the gunfire.

Officers on patrol in the area heard gunshots and rushed over.

The officers saw four males getting into the white SUV, which crashed just blocks away at Haverford Avenue and Farson Street.

"The officers on routine patrol, they hear the shots, they see the males running back to the car masked and heavily armed," Philadelphia Police Captain John Walker said.

Police said after the crash, one of the males ran into a home on the 5500 block of Haverford and was apprehended in the basement.

A second male hid under a trailer at 50th and Haverford and was taken into custody.

Multiple rifles and handguns were recovered from the SUV, police said.

"Thank God our officers were in the area to chase and apprehend those suspects. Imagine how much worse things could've been if these officers were not there," said Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said in addition to three suspects who were arrested, at least three others are being sought by police to face the very serious charges.

SEE ALSO: Football players and cheerleaders return to Philadelphia rec center after quintuple shooting

Parents and kids are reeling from the shooting - many of whom go to camp at Shepard Recreation Center daily.

"It's just sad kids can't go to a park and just play, ya know?" said Sam Mixson.

It's still unclear what sparked the gunfire.

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