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Teenager shot in head by stray bullet during basketball game

August 18, 2021 GMT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 15-year-old girl playing basketball at a playground in Philadelphia was shot in the head by a stray bullet and is in what authorities described as extremely critical condition.

The girl was playing with other young people at the Jerome Brown Playground in the Nicetown-Tioga area of north Philadelphia when she was struck by gunfire shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday, Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters. She was taken to Temple University Hospital.

The girl lives nearby and is a regular at the court, Small said. Surveillance video shows her dribbling the ball on the court when she suddenly collapses as she is struck. Police are going through various angles of the video to try to identify the shooter and witnesses. No arrests have been made.

The video shows at least 10 young people on the court or the sidelines, but all had fled by the time emergency responders arrived, Small said.

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“The tragedy about this is, when police arrived at location, she was laying face-down on the basketball court all by herself,” he said.

The shots may have come from the courts or from train tracks on the other side of the fence from the playground, Small said. He said six or seven shots may have been fired.

Someone else came to a hospital with a gunshot wound to the face, authorities said, but police don’t know whether that is related.