A fistfight at an athletic field across the street from Overbrook High School Thursday afternoon ended in a gunbattle, leaving a student dead and two other teens — one of whom police said is a suspected shooter — wounded.
The violence erupted at Tustin Playground, 59th Street and Lancaster Avenue, at 3:45 p.m., police said. When officers arrived, they found a 17-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the buttocks, Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives said. The teen was rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where police said he was in critical condition and undergoing surgery.
Another 17-year-old boy, who officials said was an Overbrook student, was wounded in the stomach and found by a good Samaritan on 59th Street, Walker said. The Samaritan drove the badly wounded boy to Lankenau Medical Center, but doctors were unable to save him. He was pronounced dead at 8:05 p.m.
Police said at least four shots were fired by two gunmen. They are unsure what sparked the initial fight.
Immediately after the shooting, cops caught a 19-year-old man matching a description of one shooter at 61st and Jefferson streets, Walker said. That teen had a graze wound to his back and was taken to HUP for treatment. He was in police custody Thursday night.
The second alleged shooter, a 20-year-old man, was also apprehended not far from the scene, police said. He was being held at the Southwest Detective Division.
School officials said several members of Overbrook’s baseball team were at the field for practice at the time of the shooting. The players ran for cover, district spokesman Fernando Gallard said.
School let out for the day shortly before 3 p.m., but police said some students were still inside for after-school programs at the time of the shooting. The school was locked down until about 5 p.m., Walker said.
“We heard gunshots from the window,” said an Overbrook freshman who was in school at the time. “I was in a classroom. Everybody ducked.”
About two hours after the shooting, the playground was desolate. A 17-year-old girl, flanked by three friends, approached the scene and said she knew the student who was killed.
“We’re like brothers and sisters,” she said of the young victim. “It’s breaking me down inside.”