Mother in 'disbelief' after 15-year-old son shot 17 times in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia mother fearing for her family's safety spoke to Action News off camera after her son was shot more than a dozen times on Monday night.

"I was in disbelief. Everything from the waist down was covered in blood," said the mother after a gunman opened fire on her 15-year-old son, Rahim.

The shooting occurred around 8:45 p.m. on 11th and Harper streets in North Philadelphia.

Rahim had apparently played basketball with friends before stopping to grab a bite nearby.

"As they exited the store, I guess the guy came from around the corner and started shooting," Rahim's mother said. "My son said all he remembered was falling and was not able to get back up."

He was shot 17 times.

Rahim was rushed to Temple University Hospital and his friend was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Detectives said the victims don't have a criminal history and aren't from the neighborhood. They are still trying to figure out why a gunman would unleash that kind of firepower on two teens.

RELATED: Two 15-year-olds shot in North Philadelphia: Police

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Search continues for gunman who shot two teens in North Philadelphia

"He's a wonderful kid. He's not inclined to the streets, nor hanging with people in the streets. That's what made it so shocking when I read his name and it was him as a victim," said Rahim's mentor Warren Upchurch, the director of the stop the violence initiative New Options More Opportunities.

Upchurch said this week Rahim was supposed to take part in a career development program with the nonprofit he's been a part of for two years.

In fact, this is the program's second child to fall victim to gun violence. Last September, another student was injured after a gunman opened fire at a Gratz-Imhotep football game.

RELATED: Gun violence surging in Philadelphia, data shows

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Data shows that 117 people have been shot in Philadelphia since June 1 or for the past three weeks. Since the year began, nearly 800 people have been shot, that's a 24% increase from the year before.

"We're an early initiative intervention prevention program that's designed to stop stuff like this from happening. Every time we take these types of hits, it hurts," said Rickey Duncan with New Options More Opportunities.

Data shows shootings are up 24% since the start of the year.

Rahim is now part of a growing statistic.

His mother had a message for the shooters.

"Just stop. It's senseless," said Rahim's mother. "My son doesn't have any parts in that type of stuff. I don't really understand what happened."

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call police.
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