PHILADELPHIA – Two teenagers have been charged with firearms and related offenses following the slaying of three people and the wounding of a fourth person at a northeast Philadelphia home, authorities said.
Lt. John Stanford told reporters that officers called to the residence in the Lawncrest neighborhood shortly after 3:30 p.m. Friday found one person shot on the sidewalk, another on the porch and a third victim inside the home. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said another 16-year-old male victim arrived in a car at Jefferson Frankford Hospital. Stanford said at least two people were taken into custody and a gun was recovered from the vehicle.
Police said Saturday that 17-year-old Malik Ballard was identified as the youth found slain on the sidewalk, while 18-year-old Khalif Frezghi was found slain on the front porch and 14-year-old Salah Fleming was found just inside the doorway of the residence.
Two youths, ages 15 and 16, were facing firearms offenses and related crimes, and the investigation remains active, police said.
WPVI-TV reported that officials from the School District of Philadelphia confirmed that at least two of the deceased victims were students in the school district, one in the eighth grade and the other in the 11th grade.
Two weeks ago, more than two dozen shots were fired during a gunbattle outside the Lawncrest Recreation Center, one bullet entering the window of a day care, WPVI-TV reported.
Stanford acknowledged frustration at the ongoing violence in the city, but said “we can’t lose hope, because if we lose hope then everybody in this city will lose hope."