Ben Simmoneau reports…
By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Following a shooting Tuesday night in the Juniata section of the city that left three teens dead (see related story), Mayor Michael Nutter had strong words for the shooter, calling him “a dog.”
The outraged mayor also had strong words for the parents of Philadelphia’s youth, telling them “not to act like idiots and a–holes.”
While Nutter says he is gratified about the quick arrest in the multiple shooting, he is fuming that the victims were out on Tuesday night apparently looking for trouble. And he blames their parents.
“Seven young people, somewhere between 14 and 16 years old, on a Tuesday night, a school night, are out in a car going to somewhere to have a fight with some other teenager. That is completely insane, it is irresponsible. Parents have to know where their children are and what they are doing,” the mayor said.
“Their little butts should have either been in bed, getting ready for bed, or doing some homework,” Nutter added. “Not out in a car, not in some other neighborhood, and not up to this kind of nonsense. I’m not your mom and I’m not your dad. We cannot completely legislate, or by policy, make people responsible for their children.”
Meanwhile, Eyewitness News has learned the suspect in the shooting, Axel Barreto, has a lengthy criminal record, including at least seven arrests since 2000, mostly for drugs. But on Saint Patrick’s Day 2004, court records show Barreto was arrested for illegally possessing a gun, but those weapons charges didn’t stick.
Authorities say police chased Barreto down after he was seen acting suspicious on what they considered a known drug corner. They found him in possession of marijuana but also with a gun, which was illegal because he was already a convicted felon according to Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Seth Williams.
Barreto was charged with five gun-related crimes, including trying to scrape off the serial number on the gun, but the charges were dropped six months later. His defense attorney at the time, Anthony Stefanski, says the judge ruled that police illegally searched Barreto that day without cause, so prosecutors were left with no evidence and little choice but to drop the charges.
Nutter says this is another example of how difficult it can be for the city to go after illegal guns with the laws that are on the books.
“I don’t know what happened in his last case, but anyone running around with an illegal weapon or certainly one where the serial number has been obliterated is not a person that should be around. They should be away for a long, long period of time,” he said. “This is insane, and we must crack down on these individuals.”
And Nutter pleaded with teens who know the victims to avoid any retaliatory acts. “It is not going to work out well for any of you,” the mayor said.
“The least you can do is know where the hell your kids are, in the daytime, in the nighttime, or at any time during the week or on the weekends. That’s the minimum we should ask and expect from our parents. You want to have kids? Take care of them.”