A young person was shot and killed after an argument erupted with another person on a moving SEPTA bus late Wednesday night, and now a suspect has been identified by Philadelphia Police in the killing.
The shooting took place on a Route 23 bus on the 5200 block of Germantown Avenue, near East Bringhurst Street, in the Germantown neighborhood, around 10:50 p.m., Philadelphia police and SEPTA police said.
Police officers got onto to bus to find a male — later identified at 15-year-old Randy Mills of West Mount Airy — bleeding from his chest on the floor, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
Police rushed Mills to the hospital, but he died a short time later, Small said.
Philadelphia Police released the following video Friday morning as they hunt for the unnamed suspect and another person of interest in the killing.
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Investigators said surveillance video showed an argument between Mills and another person just before the shooting.
One of the bullets nearly struck the driver, who ducked, Small said. A bullet hole could be seen in the glass partition behind the driver.
When the driver heard the confrontation, “she was able to duck down,” Small said.
“The driver immediately ducked down and then opened the doors to the SEPTA bus after she heard the shots,” Small said. “And that’s when our shooter — who’s described as a male wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a jacket over top and a mask covering his face — exited the bus from the front door and was last seen on foot south on Germantown Avenue.
She is “extremely lucky to not be struck by gunfire” as the bullet went through the partition at about head level. Small said.
SEPTA Police Chief Chuck Lawson praised the driver’s actions as the incident began while the bus was in motion.
Frantic passengers called 911 moments after the shooting, police said.
This was the second shooting on an operating SEPTA bus in as many weeks as two teens were shot on a bus last week. Lawson said he has a study underway to see if crime is on a rise in SEPTA’s system.
Lawson gave a warning for anyone committing a crime on public transit.
He said anyone who rides SEPTA is captured on camera many times. He also said that moving forward so-called “Shiesty” masks that are popular among young people will no longer be allowed on SEPTA’s system.
Entering Thursday, at least 165 homicides had been reported in Philadelphia in 2023, according to Philadelphia police data. That’s down 12% from the same time last year, but on pace to be one of the deadliest years in recent history.
There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.
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