PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 17-year-old boy was shot by police in North Philadelphia on Friday night, but investigators say they don’t believe the teen responsible for a robbery that prompted officers to intervene in the first place. Officials say the officer fired when the teen reached for a gun in his waistband.
Now people in the North Philly neighborhood where it happened are reacting.
The 17-year-old boy was shot three times by officers. He’s listed in critical, but stable condition at Temple University Hospital.
“Even though we’re in North Philadelphia, this area is a lot of retirees so you don’t see that type of thing happening,” resident Eboni Scott said.
Scott says she got home Friday night moments before the teen was shot on her corner.
“I had called a friend of mine and they were like, ‘Watch the 10 o’clock news so you can see what’s going on,’ because we had just got home and there was nothing going on at the time,” she said.
Steve Hughey was woken up by the gunfire.
“I was like, ‘Wow.’ I just heard three gunshots, you would think the cops would take a while to come. But then later, I heard they were the ones who did the shooting,” Hughey said.
At about 8:45 p.m. Friday, police were investigating a robbery at the intersection of 22nd and Somerset Streets.
A woman called police saying she was robbed at gunpoint. Within 10 minutes, police stobbed the 17-year-old who they say fit the description of the robbery suspect. When he was being questioned at the intersection of 28th and Somerset Streets, they found a gun on him.
“During the course of the investigation, they performed a pat-down, they detected what they believed to be a weapon in his waistband,” Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Sekou Kinebrew said. “That male reached for that weapon. The officers engaged in a brief struggle with that individual and during the course of that struggle, one of the officers discharged his firearm.”
The teen was shot twice in the leg and once in the lower back. Police say they found a revolver on him, but say they don’t believe he is the suspect from the robbery.
“I don’t believe in shooting first, but I also understand they want to go home too, and that’s their main concern,” Scott said.
Police say the officer who fired his weapon is 35 years old and is a six-year veteran of the department.
No officers were injured and police say their investigation is ongoing.
For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.