PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–A teenager was killed and three others were wounded after gunfire rang out in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
It happened around 8:30 p.m. in the 100 block of East Pastorius Street in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.
Police say 16-year-old Jai Custus was fatally shot in the back while fleeing.
Three others were also shot, including Jai’s 13-year-old sister, an 18-year-old man and a 19-year-old man, according to police.
“We believe that there was either two groups of people or two individuals firing shots at one another,” Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
He continued, “At this point, we’re trying to determine which of the other three males were the intended target. We have one male, the 20-year-old, who was shot multiple times in the torso and legs. So, it would appear that he may have been the intended target.”
Jai’s family said the emotion they are feeling right now is unimaginable. They say Jai was not involved in drugs or any sort of crime. They also say they never felt that it was unsafe for him to just be playing a half-block from his home.
“The kids can’t even play anymore, they can’t play on the basketball courts, they can’t play in the playground, because everyone’s coming around shooting, doing their thing where the kids play at,” said Tenea Trippett, the boy’s aunt. “So he came out, was playing like everyone else and then he was running and then they killed my nephew.”
Jai’s grandmother was home at the time and heard the shots. She spoke with CBS3 off camera.
“That’s all he wanted to do was play ball and they killed my grandson they came here and shot him and killed him and I want whoever did it to pay for it,” she said.Trippett says his 13-year-old sister was grazed in the arm. She’s already out of the hospital but very shaken.
A 18-year-old and 19-year-old were also shot and are still in the hospital but are expected to survive.
Police are still searching for suspects and a motive.
Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.
There’s been 224 homicides in Philadelphia so far this year, the most in five years.