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Caught on Cam: Gunmen Target 70+ Shots at Teens in Just Seconds in West Philly

NBC Philadelphia 3/24/2023 NBC10 Staff
Police say four gunmen opened fire on the teens. Dozens of bullets were fired. © Provided by NBC Philadelphia

Police say four gunmen opened fire on the teens. Dozens of bullets were fired.

Just days after three teenagers were shot as more than 70 bullets were fired in just seconds in the middle of the afternoon in West Philadelphia, police released surveillance video that they hope helps track down four masked gunmen in the targeted attack and their getaway driver.

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"We need the community's help," Capt. James Kearney, the commanding officer of Philadelphia Police Shooting Investigation Group, said of the search for the shooters in the attack that took place near busy Lansdowne Avenue. "These people need to be held accountable."

The victims ranged from 13 to 16 years old, police said. All three remained hospitalized Thursday -- the two 16 year-olds clinging to life.

"Two of who are struggling for their life right now, we are hoping that they pull through, but their injuries are extremely critical," Kearney said.

On Thursday, police revealed what they said happened in the shooting along the 1500 block of North Frazer Street around 4 p.m. on Monday, March 20:

"Video of the incident depicts four masked males approach Frazier St from the 5600 block of Lansdowne Ave armed with rifles and semi-automatic pistols," police said in a news release. "The group fired over 60 rounds before fleeing on Lansdowne Ave towards 56th St."

At a Thursday afternoon news conference, Kearney said it was actually more than 70 shots in the targeted attack. The bullet casings came from various weapons -- including bullet casings from "an automatic gun."

Investigators recovered a gun -- with "its serial number obliterated" -- near the scene after the shooting. Kearney said investigators continued Thursday to try and figure out if it was used in the shooting.

Police released surveillance video showing it all transpire. The actual shooting takes place in less than 10 seconds.

"Very, very frightening. Very frightening," Philadelphia Police Inspector Kapana Massaquoi said in the hours after the shooting. "That type of firepower out here when there are kids possibly playing out here and at that time of the day is very scary."

Police released the following descriptions of the suspected gunmen wanted in Monday's attack:

  • Suspect #1: Unknown male, light colored face mask, black jacket, blue jeans, white sneakers.
  • Suspect #2: Unknown male, black face mask, black puffy coat with hood, black pants, black sneakers.
  • Suspect #3: Unknown male, light colored lace mask, black hoodie, black pants, black sneakers, blue latex gloves.
  • Suspect #4: Unknown male, black face mask, black hoodie, black pants, black sneakers.

A fifth person stayed in a newer model gray Honda CR-V that was parked on Lansdowne Avenue, Kearney said. Separate surveillance video shows the gunmen exiting that SUV.

Kearney said the men "within seconds" got out of the SUV and started shooting at the teens.

"We believe these three victims were the intended target," Kearney said.

On Wednesday, Pennsylvania State Police found a burned out CR-V near Belmont and Chamounix drives in Fairmount Park, Kearney said. Investigators had yet to determine if the CR-V they found was the one used to drive away from the shooting scene.

Kearney didn't give a description of the getaway driver.

Nor did he give any exact motive for the ambush.

Police urged anyone who sees the shooters to call 911 immediately. People with information on the shooting can call or text police at 215-686-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip online.

Children continue to be targets of gunfire in Philadelphia. According to the most recent shooting data from the City Controller's Office, children have made up about 10% of Philadelphia's more than 350 shooting victims so far this year.

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

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