PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Relatives and friends gathered for a vigil in Philadelphia Tuesday night to remember a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed as he walked home from a community league basketball game.
Police Capt. James Clark said Tyhir Barnes and two of his friends were leaving Monday night’s game when shots rang out. Barnes was shot in the face and died at a hospital. A 14-year-old boy was shot in the arm and a 16-year-old in the leg. They’re expected to recover.
Police believe the gunman was a member of a rival basketball team. Clark said the shooting stemmed from “trash-talking” and a fistfight after a “buzzer-beater” victory in a game last week between two teams from different west Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Neither team was playing Monday night, but members of both were there to watch other teams. Members or supporters of the losing team “knew they were going to be there, and when they came out they laid in wait for them and ambushed them,” Clark said, adding that he didn’t believe Barnes was the intended target.
“Everybody loved him. He was a good kid. He was a good kid,” Tanisha Thomas said of her son Tuesday night as tears streamed down her face. “He took my baby from me. That’s my baby son. They took him away for something so stupid. I’m heartbroken. It hurts. It hurts so much.”
Hundreds of people gathered in the neighborhood where Barnes, who was an aspiring rapper, hung out with his friends. The group then walked to the basketball court where the teen spent much of his time.
“Justice will be served,” Thomas said. “So I pray that everybody that was out there, if you know something, say something.”
Police say they are going through team rosters and interviewing players. No arrests have been made.
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