PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A community is in mourning after two boys were shot and killed in South Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Police say an altercation between two groups of teens escalated when someone pulled out a gun.READ MORE: Mask Opt-Out Bill For Students Clears Pennsylvania Senate Committee
Police have not yet made any arrests, but they believe the shooter is a teenager.
Sal DiNubile and Caleer Miller, both 16, were shot during the argument around 8:30 p.m. near 12th and Ritner Streets in South Philadelphia. The gunman fired three bullets.
“I heard the shots from my house and I ran out and saw somebody laying on the pavement. It’s my best friend,” Pete Delisis said about Sal. “And I just tried to do what I could, that was really it. The cops came, it was sad, it was really bad.”
Both teens were pronounced dead at Jefferson University Hospital shortly after 9 p.m.
“Just one of those tragic mixes when arguments happen. There used to be fist fights and now guns are introduced in the mix, and we have two tragedies,” said Philadelphia Police Capt. Jack Ryan.
The shooting took place in front of the stoop of the rowhome where Sal’s family lives.
It became a gathering point for friends where for former hockey teammates and students at St. Joe’s Prep where Sal was a junior.READ MORE: Small Wins: Philadelphia Man Overcame Life Struggles To Become Face Of Clothing Brand
“I was really sad, shocked and angry,” said Owen Kelly. “He had a real funny type of laugh. He had a big smile. It’s just a shame.”
On Wednesday night, over 200 friends and community members assembled with candles and prayer near the corner of 12th and Ritner Streets.
Aisha George, Caleer’s mother, said her son had a bright future and wanted to go to college.
“I just can’t believe my son is not here no more,” she said. “He was a good kid I mean it’s one thing if he was a bad kid and into bad things but the only thing he really loved doing is playing basketball.”
She proudly displayed photos of her son through the years. A boy turned young man, who was quiet, mathematically-skilled and an honor student at Mastery charter school. Caleer transferred there this year with the hope of earning a basketball scholarship for college.
Caleer was an honor roll student at Mastery Charter Schools.
“Although he’d only been a Thomas student for just one month, he was starting to make friends and was very engaged in class. He also worked in the neighborhood and was active in his church and the YMCA. As we cope with the loss, we are offering counseling and support to students and staff. Our thoughts and prayers are with Caleer’s family,” the school said in a statement.
Police are still working on a motive and are not sure exactly why the teens were arguing.MORE NEWS: Suspect Gilbert Newton III Testifies, Damning Texts Read During Trial In Murder Of Ex-Girlfriend Morgan McCaffrey