PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Social media taunts and schoolyard fights have led to a series of retaliatory shootings in Philadelphia, according to investigators. One incident left an 8-year-old child hurt.
These seven shootings that happened from 2018-2019 and rocked parts of West and Southwest Philly can be partly blamed on teenage gang violence, says Philadelphia’s Gun Violence Task Force.READ MORE: Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct Involving Ocean City Beach Patrol Members Under Investigation
“We found that those groups were engaged in violence of escalation fueled by shootings as well as social media and something as simple as schoolyard disagreements,” said Jeffrey Palmer with the task force.
One of the incidents, a triple shooting in West Philadelphia, happened back in November 2018.
That’s when, police say, a 15-year-old and 16-year old were chased and shot by a rival.
A stray bullet also went through a home and struck an 8-year-old boy in the face who was sitting inside.READ MORE: Multiple Faiths Joining Forces To Combat Philadelphia's Rising Gun Violence
“The young 8-year-old victim was not an intended target,” Palmer said.
Police say the three victims in the shooting have recovered. But now, the city’s police commissioner has a message to parents.
“Know the accounts that your children have,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
That’s because, in many of the seven shootings, cops found the suspects through self-incriminating selfies.
“The social media evidence included posts that the authors made viewable to anyone with an Instagram account, as well as private text conversations that were obtained by executing search warrants,” Outlaw said.MORE NEWS: 2 Mothers, Babies Rushed To Hospital After Being Rescued From Burning Frankford Apartment Building, Officials Say
Police add four people have been arrested in connection to those seven shootings.