"Miracle" that Overbrook student survived more than 30 shots
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- An Overbrook High School student was hospitalized after more than 30 shots were fired in a shooting that locked down the school Tuesday morning, police and the School District of Philadelphia said.
The 15-year-old student was shot just before 8:30 a.m. at 61st and Jefferson Streets, about three and a half blocks from the school.
Thirty-two shots were fired and the boy was shot in the arm and in the thigh. He is a ninth grader at Overbrook, School District of Philadelphia Deputy spokesperson Monique Braxton said.
The student was with another student when a car rounded a corner and someone fired at them. The other student was not injured.
"When you're looking at 32 shell casings out here in West Philadelphia, it's a miracle the student survived," Braxton said.
It's not clear if the student was targeted. He was taken to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and placed in stable condition.
The student's father told CBS Philadelphia that he's shaken, but they're thankful his son is alive. CBS Philadelphia is concealing the father's identity over safety concerns.
The shooting happened just blocks away from his front porch.
"We in the middle of a war zone," his father said. "They seen the car, it looks suspicious. So he went into the store and when they came out, they seen the car again. The car rolled the windows down, they seen the guns and my son and his friend ran."
The ninth grader's father describes his son as a good student who's always cracking jokes.
"I just heard my wife yelling, that's what woke me up," his father said. "Devastating. The old me would be ready to retaliiate, but I am way above that so I'm going to let God what he need to handle."
The school was placed on a brief lockdown as a precaution after the shooting. It was lifted just after 9:30 a.m., according to police.
A motive for the shooting was not known Tuesday morning, Braxton said.
The shooting took place outside a safety zone that surrounds the high school. The district recently invested more than $1 million in its Safe Paths safety program, which includes volunteers escorting students to and from school.
"The fact that you have to do that is egregious," Braxton said. "Children ought to be able to walk to and from their neighborhood high school safely, it's not going to be tolerated."
The Safe Paths and Safety Zones programs are only funded for dismissal, the school district said.
Overbrook's program was approved last week, but the safety zone is in place there.
In Philadelphia School District, 25 safety zones encompass 38 schools. Safe Path is at seven schools, with six more coming on board as the vendor hires more staff.
The school was dismissed on time, and there were additional police patrols in the area during dismissal.
The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers released a statement Tuesday.
"While I am grateful that the ninth grader shot near Overbrook High School is reported to be in stable condition, this trauma is something no child or family should ever experience," union President Jerry Jordan said in the emailed statement. "The crisis of gun violence is all too real. As we continue to collectively demand real, sustainable solutions to gun violence, the student shot and his family are in my thoughts."
No weapon has been recovered in the shooting and no arrests have been made.
In November, four Overbrook students were shot shortly after the school dismissed for Thanksgiving break.
As his son recovers, the boy's father has this message to the community.
"I need neighborhood leaders to stand up and stop being afraid of these young bulls," the victim's father said. "I need parents to stand up and being afraid of their children."
The student is expected to make a full recovery.
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