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A family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is mourning the tragic death of a 15-year-old boy who was killed by stray gunfire outside of his own home last week.
Sean Toomey quickly ran outside of the house to retrieve a case of water bottles from his dad’s car on Thursday, but he never made it back. Police said Toomey was caught in the crossfire of an attempted carjacking taking place across the street.
As the boy was heading back home with the water in hand, at least two suspects were pulling on a woman’s car door while she drove into her apartment complex. The woman reportedly called her boyfriend for help and when he came outside, gunfire erupted.
Toomey was struck twice by the gunfire, once in the head and once in the side. He was immediately taken to the hospital in critical condition but succumbed to his injuries Friday afternoon.
The incident occurred in the Wissinoming neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia.
The boy’s father, John Toomey, was inconsolable as he recounted the tragedy to reporters last week.
“I heard the two pops and I thought it was firecrackers,” Toomey said during an interview. “But it only takes a second to grab some water and get in the house and he wasn’t coming back in. So I got curious, I put my sweatshirt on, and I went outside and I saw him lying on my neighbor’s lawn.”
That’s when he saw his son covered in blood; the case of water thrown on the ground next to him.
“There was blood on his head. I thought maybe he’d fallen on the fence or something when I first saw it. I wasn’t adding it up. No one gets shot around here,” Toomey continued.
“Can’t describe it,” he added. “It’s not something I want anyone, anyone to experience. I was just in the hospital. The doctor said he’s brain dead. Every time I turned away from him and saw him again I’d break down, over and over. He’s only 15! You know, the kid is in the house most of the time playing with his computer and his phone. He went out to get some water.”
[embedded content] Would-Be Car Thief Shoots at Man, Stray Bullet Strikes Teen Bystander, Police Say www.youtube.com
As of Monday afternoon, an investigation into the incident is ongoing and police have yet to make any arrests. The suspects reportedly fled the scene immediately after the shooting.
Toomey’s death comes as Philadelphia continues to grapple with a scourge of violent crime. Homicides in the city totaled 562 last year, by far the largest number ever recorded. This year, the city is on pace to beat that figure.