Teen shot 17 times in Philadelphia, mother in 'disbelief'

ByChristie Ileto WPVI logo
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Mother in 'disbelief' after 15-year-old son shot 17 times in Philadelphia
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A Philadelphia mother fearing for her family's safety speaks from the shadows after her son was shot more than a dozen times on Monday night.

PHILADELPHIA -- A Philadelphia mother fearing for her family's safety spoke out after her son was shot more than a dozen times 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, and another teen around 8:45 p.m.

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," she said. "My son said all he remembered was falling and not being able to get up."

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

Detectives say 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.

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"He's not inclined to the streets, nor hanging with people in the streets. That's what made it so shocking," said Warren Upchurch, director of New Options More Opportunities.

Upchurch says this week, Rahim was supposed to take part in a career development program with nonprofit New Options More opportunities -- a stop the violence initiative 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.

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

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

Rahim is now part of a growing statistic.

"What do you have to say to the shooter?" asked reporter Christie Ileto.

"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!"