PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The plague of gun violence in Philadelphia is taking its toll on its youngest citizens. On Thursday, police confirmed an alarming 100 children have been shot in the city so far this year.
Police say it will take a multi-pronged approach to keep children safe.
This afternoon, police confirmed all three suspects wanted in Saturday’s shooting death of 7-year-old Zamar Jones are now in custody.
Hours before turning himself in, Damar Jones posted to social media, saying he did not kill Zamar but apologized for his role in Saturday’s shootout. His attorney was by his side as he was taken into custody.
“I think it’s clearly a case of self-defense here. Damar’s just there on the block with Michael so whoever shot back at the driver clearly was acting in self-defense, that [Christopher] Linder was the shooter in the case and Linder was most likely the one that shot the 7-year-old boy,” attorney Doug Dolfman said.
Police took 27-year-old Linder into custody that night after he returned to the scene to try to retrieve his bullet-riddled truck.
On Wednesday, 30-year-old Michael Banks turned himself in. His motion for bail was denied and a preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 26. Both men are facing a number of charges, including murder.
“This culture of violence where we have adults are willing to shoot indiscriminately into crowds of people without care or concern for women or children,” Philadelphia Police First Deputy Commissioner Melvin Singleton said.
While involved in this manhunt, police were called for another West Philadelphia shooting Wednesday night where a 6-year-old girl playing outside with friends was shot in the chest. She remains in the hospital in stable condition.
Police say there is a plan in place to curb the violence, but it will take some time.
“Now we have to be strategic, targeted, identify our repeat offenders and target those folks,” Singleton said.
The department is still working to find the person responsible for shooting the 6-year-old girl.
Both shootings occurred less than three miles apart in West Philly.