Family, Friends Mourn Loss Of Philadelphia Teen Struck By Stray Bullet
By Jan Carabeo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia police are asking for the public’s help in tracking down a killer after a teen was hit by a stray bullet and died.
Investigators say the bullet was fired close to a block-and-a-half away in North Philadelphia on Saturday night.
The boy killed has been identified as 16-year-old Jameer Haynesworth. A memorial where he collapsed on Saturday continues to grow days later.
“Anywhere Jameer went, people loved him,” Monica Haynesworth said of her son. “It’s so hurtful that a parent has to face this now.”
Haynesworth was a rising junior at Mastery Charter School in Philadelphia and full of promise.
“He loved school, he was an honor student, an A student,” Haynesworth said.
That success was cut short this weekend. Haynesworth’s family says he and friends were coming home from a movie when the teen was hit by a stray bullet.
Police were called to the area of 8th Street and Berks Avenue to disperse an impromptu block party involving up to 300 people. Around 11 o’clock, gunshots rang out, and Haynesworth was found shot in the head more than a block away on West Montgomery Avenue.
“It’s extremely tragic that you have a 16-year-old that was doing everything right in life, and his life was ended in this way,” Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark said.
Teachers and community members offered their support on Tuesday, but the family is finding it difficult to move forward knowing that Haynesworth was shot just across the street from his home.
“I’m scared for my other children and myself,” Haynesworth said. “I sit on the steps thinking when is it going to happen again?”
“He just will forever be in my heart and I love him,” Ashley Lockett said of her brother-in-law.
Police believe the shooter was aiming at another group of people when the bullet hit Haynesworth. The teen was not attending the block party.
Investigators do not have any suspects, but they know someone saw something since there were hundreds of people in the area.
Anyone with information is asked to call police.