A 16-year old male was shot outside of the newly opened Pearl Theatre Wednesday evening around 7:30 p.m. after a fight broke out among a group of males outside of the theater.
One of the males fired a semi-automatic handgun into the crowd, according to a spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Dept.’s 22nd district.
According to police, the only victim was taken to Hahnemann Hospital on North Broad Street and, as of late Wednesday night, was listed in critical condition. Police said the victim’s family had not yet been notified.
With investigation pending, police said they were unable to release the names of “three to five” males who were involved in the melee. Philadelphia police said no arrests have been made, though they have brought in “several” individuals for questioning. There is no word on whether these individuals are Temple affiliated.
Not much else was available from police Wednesday night, but residents and people employed in the neighborhood said the shootings were disheartening.
The shooting took place just two days after Pearl Theatre’s grand opening, which brought Gov. Rendell and Mayor Street to the 1600 block of North Broad Street Monday night. The opening marked the area’s first movie theater in nearly 60 years.
No officials at The Edge at Avenue North, a student apartment complex, located one block west of the shooting, were available for comment. Allied-Barton security guards at The Edge said they were “doing nothing more than usual” to secure the building, which offers 24-hour security.
A bouncer at the Draught Horse, a bar and restaurant one block north of the shooting, said he was outside when the sounds of gunshots filled the air.
“I knew it was gunshots. I heard, like, eight. It went ‘pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,'” said T.J. McNally, who also manages the restaurant. “We could smell the sulfur all the way over here.”
A Temple Police officer stationed outside the movie house told potential patrons that all remaining shows had been canceled and the building had been closed for the night.
The officer, who stood guard at 10:30 p.m., had nothing further to add.
Several students said they turned fearful when they heard of the nearby gunfire.
“My friend was there and she saw someone lying on the ground,” said junior education major Kristin McRell, who was visiting a friend at The Edge. “I wasn’t there, but it scares me.”
Others said they felt the same way.
“It was just on the news, and I didn’t get a chance to watch it,” said Chris Green, a junior business major who lives at The Edge. “They just opened that movie theater, which means there’s going to be more trouble.”
Junior business major Tim Matthews, Jr., added: “We heard the gunshots. You couldn’t not hear them.”
Emily Catalano and Christopher A. Vito can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.