Cops: Teen slain on Nicetown park bench

Not so Nicetown
A 16-year-old boy was shot in his chest from point blank range as he sat on a park bench in Nicetown and later died. (Phillip Lucas/Daily News staff)

This post has  been updated

A teenage boy was shot and later died in yet another instance of gun violence at a city park Thursday night, police said.

A 16-year-old boy was shot once in his chest at Nicetown Park on Germantown Avenue near Saint Paul Street just before 9 p.m. Cops said the teen was sitting on a park bench when he was shot from point blank range.

Police found a single .22-caliber shell casing on the ground about three feet from the bench where the teen was shot. Crime scene investigators later found a magazine clip and ammunition on a thatch of grass in the shadow of a cement wall.

The boy lost consciousness after he was wounded and was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:23 p.m.

Cops said about six people were at the park when the shots rang out. Two witnesses were taken to speak with officials in the Homicide Unit.

"This was an active playground" said Chief Inspector Scott Small. "There were kids here playing on the playground when the shooting occured."

One of the witnesses may have been sitting with the victim on the bench at the time of the shooting, police said, adding that a private surveillance camera at a nearby business may have recorded the incident.

The shooter's motive was unclear Thursday night, and two suspects were seen running east through the playground toward St. Luke Street immediately after the shooting, police said. Officials were working to form a detailed description of the shooters Thursday night.

The victim's relatives sat on park benches while police combed the scene for evidence around 11:30 p.m. Their moans were nearly drowned out by the sound of traffic rumbling along the nearby Roosevelt Expressway overpass.

The shooting is the second fatal incident this week involving gun violence in a city park.   

An 18-year-old man was shot in his back in broad daylight Monday at the Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center, on 22nd Street near Huntingdon, and later died at Temple University Hospital.

Similar to the Thursday night incident, police said the park was crowded with children and adults when shots rang out.