Family members ID 7-year-old boy shot in head while playing on Philadelphia porch

Annie McCormick Image
Monday, August 3, 2020
1 arrested but search continues for 2 others in shooting of 7-year-old Zamar Jones
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1 arrested but search continues for 2 others in shooting of 7-year-old Zamar Jones

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A young boy is fighting for his life after he was shot while playing on the porch in Philadelphia on Saturday night. Police have arrested one person and are looking for two more shooters.

It happened around 7:30 p.m. on the 200 block of North Simpson Street in West Philadelphia.

Police say the 7-year-old boy was playing with a toy on the porch when he was caught in a crossfire and shot in the head. He is listed in extremely critical condition at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Family members have identified the boy as Zamar Jones.

"He is still living, he is fighting for his life, he has not passed on," said Zamar's aunt, Makeeba McNeely.

Mark Thompson says he's fed up with the gun violence on his block, "Enough is enough, when we start hurting innocent children, enough is enough."

Investigators said it is not clear how many guns may have been involved. At least 16 bullet casings were found at the scene. No weapons have been recovered.

Aiden Myatt is just six years old and is friends with Zamar. He too was on the block Saturday night.

"He told me, he said, 'Mommy they shot my friend,' that was hard on me as a parent because I'm trying to stay strong for him because I don't want to break down," said Aiden's mother, Unique Myatt.

Police said a blue/silver Chevy Silverado was traveling south on the 200 block North Simpson Street when the driver extended his left arm out the driver's window and fired a gun at a group of people standing on the block. The driver continued southbound and two men who were standing outside pulled guns and started shooting at the truck.

According to investigators, the Silverado rear-ended a GMC Yukon on the block. The driver of the Silverado exited the vehicle and jumped in the Yukon, fleeing eastbound on Race Street.

Investigators located the Yukon, abandoned on 64th and Race streets.

While police remained on location, the man, who fled in both vehicles, returned to the scene and attempted to get back into his Silverado. Police said that's when officers gave chase and arrested the man at the end of the 6300 block of Race Street.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said surveillance video from a nearby camera may prove useful in the investigation. She also touched on the violence that has plagued this block before, denouncing it.

She said she is hopeful that this case will come to a quick resolution.

Outlaw issued this statement on the shooting:

We are heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred this evening on the 200 block of Simpson Street. An innocent seven-year-old was struck by gunfire and is in grave condition. Although an individual has been taken into custody, that does not diminish the impact this senseless act has on the child, his family, and the entire community.

Criminal acts such as this have no place in our communities, and we are committed to securing justice and promoting healing for all who are affected. While every act of gun violence is lamentable, it is especially tragic when the victim is among our most vulnerable; and it is our collective responsibility - police, and community - to ensure that our children are safe and well-protected. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the precious child and his family.

The investigation continues into the identity of two other shooters who fled in a maroon Ford Taurus which was recovered on the 200 block of N. 64th Street.

Police have not identified the suspect in custody at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call 215-686-TIPS.