A fight between rival high school students escalated into a shooting on a Broad Street subway car Wednesday afternoon. Two teenagers were rushed to Temple Hospital where one was in critical condition, SEPTA police said.
One 14-year-old high school student was shot in the right leg and was in critical condition, while a 17-year-old student was shot in the right arm and was stable. Police are still looking for the suspected shooter, SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel said.
Police are reviewing surveillance footage that shows the fight breaking out and one shooter involved in the incident, which occurred shortly before 2 p.m. near the Susquehanna-Dauphin Broad Street line subway station, Nestel said.
Campus Safety Services issued an alert at 2:25 p.m., advising students to avoid the area around Susquehanna Avenue and Broad Street.
Two young men were escorted from the subway station on Broad Street near Susquehanna Avenue around 2:50 p.m. and another was chased by police following the shooting to Carlisle Street, where he was taken into custody.
One person remains in custody, although he is not suspected of being the shooter, Nestel said.
Police could not verify which high schools the students involved attended, nor could they confirm that the shooter was a student.
Nestel added that SEPTA police had previously been positioned at various locations in the subway at times when the high schools let out.
“This is the issue of kids choosing to act like young adults,” Nestel said. “They are not.”
SEPTA temporarily closed down local stops at Cecil B. Moore and Susquehanna avenues, according to SEPTA spokesperson Richard Maloney. The subway returned to full service around 3:30 p.m.
Following the incident, witnesses reported seeing people flee out of the subway station and down Broad Street.
“All the people [came] running out of the train, up the stairs, so we ran up the stairs, too,” said Ann-Kristin Vhlemann, 19, a tourist from Germany visiting friends in the city.
Afterward, Terry Starks, 35, a canvas person for Philadelphia CeaseFire, placed posters urging non-violence around the crime scene.
“I fight this violence on the frontline because I was a kid too when I got shot,” Starks, 35, who said he has been shot five times, said. “It’s a mindset, it’s a disease that can be cured.”
John Moritz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JCMoritzTU