PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police have released images of the suspected gunman’s vehicle after a 10-year-old boy was shot in the head while walking home from school in the city’s Frankford section. Semaj O’Branty was walking along the 2000 block of Margaret Street around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday when a gunman in a red-colored Pontiac G6 opened fire.
According to police, after firing multiple shots, the vehicle fled southbound on Margaret Street. The shooter is still on the loose.
Semaj was struck in the back of the head and is in critical but stable condition at the hospital. He is expected to survive.
Police say the boy was not the intended target but was caught in the crossfire.
The victim lives right around the corner from where he was shot.
Semaj’s older brother, who didn’t want to give his name, says they have to be strong for him as he recovers.
“He’s strong, he’s funny. He thinks he’s a man but he’s only 10 years old. He just wants to have fun, play sports, wants to do a whole lot. Hopefully it don’t change,” he said.
A family friend said Thursday that Semaj had to undergo emergency surgery.
“He’s in emergency surgery right now and that we’re taking this hour by hour,” Cheri Honkala said.
Police say a man in custody fired back at the shooter. Police say he tried to shield the 10-year-old boy.
At Semaj’s church, Faith Assembly of God members collected balloons and cards for the fifth grader.
Sister Mary Williams, who watches Semaj and his twin sister during an after-school program, started Bible study with a phone call to Semaj’s mother.
“We just got finished praying for Anita on the phone to let her know that we love her and we are still praying,” Williams said.
This shooting is the latest in an uptick of gun violence across the city.
“Too many guns on the street, too many guns in our society and too much poverty and unemployment. People don’t have the training to get decent jobs and they resort to stuff like selling drugs and getting involved in things like that,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.
A GoFundMe has been started to relocate Semaj’s family.
If you have any information on this vehicle or incident, you are urged to contact Philadelphia police 215-686-3153.
CBS3’s Chantee Lans contributed to this report.