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Philadelphia police are searching for a man wanted in the shooting of 13-year-old Marcus Stokes

Philadelphia Inquirer logo Philadelphia Inquirer 10/27/2021 Anna Orso, The Philadelphia Inquirer
A memorial to Marcus, who was shot and killed earlier this month, was set up in his classroom at E.W. Rhodes Middle School on Oct. 14. Police obtained an arrest warrant for a 29-year-old man they say is responsible for his death. © JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photogra A memorial to Marcus, who was shot and killed earlier this month, was set up in his classroom at E.W. Rhodes Middle School on Oct. 14. Police obtained an arrest warrant for a 29-year-old man they say is responsible for his death.

Philadelphia police are searching for a 29-year-old man who they say fatally shot a 13-year-old boy just blocks away from his school earlier this month, officials said Wednesday.

Authorities say Shafeeq Lewis, of North Philadelphia, fired a dozen shots into a car that was parked on the 3100 block of North Judson Street about 9 a.m. on Oct. 8. Six young people were sitting in the vehicle and police said one of the shots struck 13-year-old Marcus Stokes in the chest. He was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Detectives obtained surveillance footage capturing the sound of gunshots, then a man dressed in dark clothing running from the scene. Deputy Police Commissioner Ben Naish said investigators believe Lewis was the man fleeing, and they obtained an arrest warrant on murder charges last week.

Lewis remains at large, and investigators have not determined a motive.

Marcus’ killing shocked his teachers and classmates at E.W. Rhodes Elementary School, where he was in the seventh grade. The school is located five blocks from the crime scene and was locked down following the shooting. Principal Andrea Surratt described Marcus as “a perfect student who was just a really popular, beautiful kid.”

Gunshots took a 13-year-old who was friends with everyone. At his North Philadelphia school, it’s ‘utter devastation.’

The shooting was one of several school-related gun incidents that took place over the span of two weeks, prompting police to increase their presence in areas surrounding about two dozen schools citywide.

Ten days after Marcus was killed, a 16-year-old student was critically wounded when he was shot during an argument outside of Abraham Lincoln High School in Mayfair. A stray bullet flew into a passing car, killing the driver, 66-year-old Jeffrey Carter.

And on Friday, an 18-year-old student at the Philadelphia Learning Academy-South in West Philadelphia suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg.

Police statistics show 453 people have been killed in Philadelphia this year, a 13% increase compared with the same time last year, which was one of the deadliest on record. The majority of the slayings were committed with guns.

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