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Eight Teens Are Shot at Philadelphia Bus Stop, Police Say

Eight Philadelphia high school students were shot and wounded as they waited for a public bus after school on Wednesday, the latest in a spate of shootings that have touched off outrage in the city, the police said.

The students, who attend Northeast High School, were shot at about 3 p.m. as they waited at a bus stop near a Dunkin’ Donuts just over a half-mile from the school, Kevin J. Bethel, the Philadelphia police commissioner, said at a news conference.

As a bus pulled up to the stop and the students prepared to board, three people got out of a car that was parked nearby and opened fire, shooting at least 30 times, he said.

The students who were hit range in age from 15 to 17, Commissioner Bethel said. One was shot several times and was in critical condition, he said.

Two buses were also struck by gunfire, although no one inside was hit, according to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Commissioner Bethel said there had not been any arrests.

The shooting came after 11 young people were shot while going to and from school in Philadelphia over the last three days, Comissioner Bethel said.

On Monday afternoon, a 17-year-old was killed and four others were wounded in a shooting as people were boarding a SEPTA bus in Philadelphia, about four miles from the scene of the shooting on Wednesday, the police said.

On Tuesday evening, a 37-year-old man was fatally shot after he got into a fight on a SEPTA bus in Philadelphia, the police said. And on Sunday night, a 27-year-old man was fatally shot after getting off a SEPTA bus in Philadelphia, the police said. No arrests have been made and no weapons have been recovered in any of those shootings, the police said.

“The cowardly acts that we have seen over the last three days are unacceptable,” Commissioner Bethel said.

Tony B. Watlington Sr., the superintendent of the Philadelphia school district, said that crisis counselors would be sent to Northeast High School to comfort grieving students. He called the shooting “horrific” and “unconscionable.”

“We are just absolutely heartbroken and angry that innocent children walking home from school would be impacted by gunfire,” he said at the news conference, adding, “Enough is enough.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Charles Lawson, the chief of the SEPTA Transit Police, said at another news conference that officers planned to crack down on fare evasion, open drug use and illegal gun possession in response to the recent shootings on or near SEPTA buses.

He said that there had been “significant declines in virtually every serious crime category across the board,” with the exception of gun violence. “It’s this category that we’re going to target and target relentlessly,” he said.

Philadelphia has recorded 55 homicides this year, down from 79 as of March 6 last year and 94 as of March 6, 2022, according to police statistics.

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