Gunmen Open Fire Outside Crowded North Philly Recreation Center - Dallas News |

Gunmen Open Fire Outside Crowded North Philly Recreation Center

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"There was blood from the outside leading into the gym so they wouldn't let nobody go inside," said Nikia Rutledge. She arrived at Simons Recreation Center in West Oak Lane to find her 13-year old daughter's cheerleading practice had been canceled. Police say two men opened fire on the basketball court there and shot two teens. An 18-year old was shot in the groin and a 19-year old was shot in the thigh. They were both rushed to Einstein.

"It was like wow somebody actually could have been killed," said Rutledge.  It happened just before 5:00 Wednesday afternoon at the center on the 1600 block of East Walnut Lane. Police say 11 shots were fired into a crowd of about 30 teens and young adults playing basketball. The court is connected to a playground where lots of young children were also playing at the time. 

"It's just really sad," said Felicia Moore who coached on the field at the center for nine years. S
he's relieved that more kids were not hurt.

"It's very scary. This is football and cheerleading season so to be out here, as a parent, it's devastating. We're concerned about our children," said Moore.
Meanwhile police say they found shell casings from two semi automatic guns. They're still investigating a motive.

"We know police did respond to this neighborhood a little earlier today for a large fight. Whether or not that fight is related to the shooting it's unknown at this time," said Chief Inspector Scott Small with Philadelphia Police.

There's only a vague description of the two suspects who police say took off running. Police are reviewing video from city police cameras that may have been pointed in the direction of the incident.

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