PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The uncle of a 10-year-old boy who was critically injured in a Frankford shooting has been charged for his role in the incident Friday. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office says 22-year-old Ernest Richardson was walking Semaj O’Branty home from school near Torresdale and Margaret Street on Wednesday afternoon when they were fired upon.
Police say Richardson tried to shield Semaj but he was shot in the back of the head by a stray bullet.
Richardson fired back at the shooter, who police say was driving a red Pontiac G6.
“He tries to cover the kid and protect the kid, but the kid takes a shot and you see him go down in the video,” Philadelphia Police Capt. John Walker said.
Richardson has been charged with recklessly endangering another person, violation of the Uniform Firearms Act, and possession of the instrument of crime.
The victim lives around the corner from where he was shot.
Jahaira Cruz says her main goal was to keep Semaj alert until first responders arrived on scene.
“I noticed that the young man had a wound to the neck, on the left side of his neck. So I instinctively just kicked in and grabbed someone’s sweatshirt and correctly applied pressure to the area. As I was doing that, I had already started calling 911 prior,” Cruz, a medical assistant, said.
This is Semaj O’Branty, the 10-year-old hit by a stray bullet in the middle of a shootout. He was outside waiting for his mother who was inside a corner store in Frankford. He’s in critical but stable condition. Doctors believe he will survive. Live update on @CBSPhilly at 11 p.m pic.twitter.com/6o4HNuXFaa
— Kimberly Davis CBS3 (@KimberlyDavisTV) November 7, 2019
Semaj is a member of Faith Assembly of God. Pastor Richard Smith says he is very involved in the church and won’t allow gun violence to take over their neighborhood.
“We just cannot allow our community to feel like hope is lost. Hope is not lost,” Smith said.
Police are still searching for the suspect or suspects in the red Pontiac who began shooting at Richardson and Semaj.
The Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the gunman’s arrest.
If you have any information that could help identify the individuals responsible for the child’s shooting contact Philadelphia police at 911 or 215-686-TIPS.