PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Members of the Frankford community marched through the streets for a 10-year-old boy who was shot in the head. Semaj O’Branty remains hospitalized a week after he was shot while walking home from school.
A close family friend says the 10-year-old’s mother has a meeting scheduled with doctors Thursday. They’re hoping for positive news but, so far, Semaj hasn’t woken up.
The Frankford community of Northeast Philadelphia is hoping to let light shine out of darkness after a stray bullet found its way into the back of 10-year-old Semaj’s head during a drug-related shootout on the 2000 block of Margaret Street.
“When he got out of surgery, we were all hoping that he would wake up. He hasn’t woken up yet,” said Cheri Honkala, with The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.
Semaj hasn’t been conscious for a week.
As his loved ones continue to hold onto hope, they’re also rallying to stop the gun violence in their community.
A family friend says the gun violence is a money problem.
“They’ve been given very few options in life. They’ve learned that all along the way that that’s how you keep the lights on, that’s how you eat, that’s how you feed your younger brothers and sisters. Well, damn it, let’s give these kids a different way to feed, clothe and house their families,” Honkala said.
Semaj’s pastor at Faith Assembly of God agrees.
“This place will be a place where violence will never be tolerated again,” Richard Smith said.
Philadelphia police also attended a community meeting Wednesday night in Semaj’s Frankford neighborhood to stand with his family.
“It takes grassroots efforts like this that do work and they will get us in the right direction and we’ll work through this with the community,” Philadelphia Police Capt. John Walker said.
As police continue to search for the shooter, Semaj’s loved ones are praying for a miracle.
Police still haven’t found that red Pontiac G6 that the shooter was riding in.
If you have any information, you are urged to call police.