Four teenage students were injured in a shooting near a high school in West Philadelphia on Wednesday, just after classes were dismissed for Thanksgiving break, the authorities said.
The students, two 15-year-old girls and two 16-year-old boys, were taken to hospitals and were in stable condition, John Stanford, first deputy commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, said at a news conference on Wednesday.
The shooting happened just after 11:30 a.m. outside a beauty salon and about a block from Overbrook High School. Deputy Commissioner Stanford said a group of students had been standing outside the salon when someone inside a passing silver S.U.V. fired at them.
The police did not name the victims. One 15-year-old girl suffered gunshot wounds to her left shoulder and left thigh, and the other 15-year-old girl suffered a gunshot wound to her left shoulder, the police said in a statement. A 16-year-old boy was shot in the left hand and had a graze wound on his face, and the other 16-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to his right leg.
The police said that no arrests had been made and no weapon had been recovered. Deputy Commissioner Stanford said it was too early in the investigation to know if the students had been targeted.
“Just another incident of gun violence in our city,” he said at the news conference.
Gun violence in Philadelphia has been particularly bad this year. More than 1,400 people in the city had been shot as of August, a higher toll than in the much larger cities of New York and Los Angeles. Officials are struggling to respond to the number of guns on the street. For every illegal gun seized by the police in Philadelphia between 1999 and 2019, about three guns were bought or sold legally, according to a city report released this year.
“We’re going to have to have some real serious help to get our arms around our city problem with these guns,” Tony B. Watlington, the Philadelphia schools superintendent, said at a news conference on Wednesday.
In September, a 14-year-old student, Nicolas Elizalde, was killed and four others were injured in a shooting near Roxborough High School. The five teenagers were leaving the field after a football scrimmage when the shooting occurred. Roxborough High School is about five miles north of Overbrook.
Four people between the ages of 15 and 21 have been arrested in connection with the Roxborough High School shooting.