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Eight students shot at SEPTA bus stop in Philadelphia: Police


(PHILADELPHIA) — Eight students were shot, leaving two students in critical condition, after gunfire rang out at a SEPTA bus stop in Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, according to Philadelphia police.

Multiple people opened fire as the students were attempting to board a bus at approximately 3:00 p.m., local time, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said in a press conference.

Bethel said three people exited a vehicle parked near the SEPTA bus stop and opened fire, shooting over 30 rounds toward the students as they were attempting to board the bus.

All eight victims were students who attended Northeast High School, and their ages ranged from 15 to 17 years old, according to Bethel.

One of the students in critical condition was shot multiple times, Bethel said.

A SEPTA bus was “caught in the crossfire,” but no passengers on board reported needing medical attention, according to officials with the regional public transportation company.

“Our hearts are with the victims and their families during this difficult time,” police said.

Wednesday’s shooting is just the latest in an outbreak of gun violence in the city, and the fourth shooting involving a local SEPTA bus in one week, according to Philadelphia ABC station WPVI-TV. Mayor Cherelle Parker declared a public safety emergency in January.

“It is hard to sit here and see, in three days, 11 juveniles shot, who were coming and going from school,” Bethel said.

Bethel said police are investigating whether this shooting today is connected to a shooting on Monday, which also occurred at a SEPTA station, that killed a 17-year-old high school student who attended Imhotep Institute Charter High School.

The 17-year-old student died, and two others suffered graze wounds.

Police plan to increase security efforts “significantly,” throughout the week, specifically near schools around dismissal time, according to Bethel.

“We will not be held hostage,” Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker said during the press conference. “We will use every legal tool in the toolbox to ensure the public health and safety of the people of our city.”

Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Tony B. Watlington added that trained crisis professionals will be at Northeast High School for students and families in need.

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