Mother reacts after son, 15, shot by 14-year-old in West Philadelphia

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Mother reacts after son, 15, shot by 14-year-old in West Philadelphia
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Mother reacts after son, 15, shot by 14-year-old in West Philadelphia. Bob Brooks reports during Action News at 4pm on August 21, 2018.

WEST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police say a 14-year-old boy has been arrested for shooting and critically wounding a 15-year-old boy late Monday night in West Philadelphia.

Investigators say the suspect was located at his home. Formal charges are pending.

The shooting happened on the 5400 block of Cherry Street around 11:30 p.m. Monday.

Authorities say the teen was with friends when he got into a confrontation with the gunman. They say the suspect and the victim knew each other.

"We believe the victim, the shooter, and at least one other male were all hanging out together when the shot was fired, so we don't have a motive for the shooting at this time," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Police rushed the 15-year-old to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in critical condition. His condition has been upgraded to stable.

Sheren Ecton spoke to Action News while on her way to the hospital. She is the mother of the 15-year-old victim, Mehki.

"He's got a couple cracked ribs and his back shoulder blade bone is broke," she said.

Fortunately, Mehki is expected to be okay.

"He's fine, he's just gotta take time to heal," Ecton said.

She said she knows all of Mehki's friends, but doesn't know the teen who is accused of shooting him.

"I'm at a loss for words. I don't know who the little boy was or who his family is, and I know most of the children around here and family," she said.

Ecton says she always knows what her son is up to.

"It was right here in front of my house. I try and keep everybody aware and together but sometimes it's never enough," she said.

Neighbor Jackie Shepherd has known the victim since he was a baby, and she says he can often be seen lifting weights and helping out.

"He's a sweet boy, he helps around the neighborhood a lot, he helps me a lot," she said.

This is the second teenager shot in a 24-hour period in the city. Early Monday morning a 14-year-old was shot in North Philadelphia.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross spoke to the question of whether there's an increase in gun violence among teens.

"Sometimes we make that assumption, and we look at the data and it doesn't support it. So right now I would tell you I would agree with you, at first glance it appears there's an uptick of young people getting shot, but we've got a slight uptick in our shootings period," he said.

Ted Qualli, the executive director of the Police Athletic League, wants to remind families they have centers in 20 neighborhoods across the city.

"We know that when these kids are in a PAL center they're not going to be the victim or the perpetrator of a crime and they're going to be safe," Qualli said.

He said the types of things kids and teens can learn with PAL can lead to life-changing lessons.

"Often times that sports and educational programs and field trips with a Philadelphia police officer. PAL is all about being cops and kids together," Qualli said.

PAL is for kids ages 6 through 18.

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