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Philly Police Probe Shooting That Killed 11-Year-Old

When the boys on Gratz Street heard the gunshots Sunday afternoon, they abandoned their game of basketball and started to run.

Up and down the street, neighbors heard the shots, too -- about 10, in rapid succession, they say.

Minutes later, Teyeesha Callia -- just three blocks away at a cousin's house -- picked up her phone.

Her daughter was on the other end.

"Mom," she said, "Kashie got shot."

By the time Callia made it back to the 1500 block of Gratz, her son, 11-year-old Kashie Crawford, was already in the back of a police car racing to Temple University Hospital.

Police say he and a group of friends were playing basketball Sunday afternoon when an unknown man walked down Gratz. That's when one or more shooters opened fire from a blue Mercury Grand Marquis, police said. The man fired back, police say, and in the midst of the gunfight, Kashie Crawford was hit in the back.

A neighbor took the boy into a house on the block until police arrived, then rode with him to the hospital. Callia followed shortly after.

"I wanted to just pass out," Callia said Monday. Her son had been upgraded from critical to stable condition at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children but was still sedated in the intensive care unit.

"We're taking it day by day," she said.

On Monday, an investigation was ongoing. Police said there were several video cameras in the area and were set to review footage.

Another 11-year-old, Jamara Stevens, was killed Saturday in West Philadelphia after, police said, her 2-year-old brother accidentally fired a .357-caliber revolver in an upstairs bedroom of her house.

Police found Stevens' mother cradling the girl in their house on the 3800 block of Wallace Street. Stevens was rushed in a squad car to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where she was pronounced dead.

The gun, police said, had been left on top of the refrigerator Saturday by a friend of the girl's mother. At some point, the gun was taken from the refrigerator and left unsecured in the master bedroom, police said.

Stevens' mother and her children were all in the bedroom together Saturday morning when the mother left to use the bathroom, police said.

That's when the children found the revolver -- loaded and cocked, police said -- and began to play with it.

Stevens' brother was pointing the gun in her direction when it discharged, police said.

Homicide detectives were still investigating the incident Monday, and no arrests had been made, police said.

Copyright 2014 - The Philadelphia Inquirer

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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