Neighbors: Man shot teen over vandalism

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Neighbors believe broken windows were the motive behind a 14-year-old suffering a gunshot wound to the hand Tuesday night.

Shattered glass and a brick remained on the ground below at least six broken windows in an alley off the 500 block of Camp Street.

A driver’s side pickup truck window is covered with duct tape and cardboard outside a home that was surrounded by police Tuesday night as they responded to a call that a 14-year-old teen was shot.

One woman, who wished not to be identified because she “lives around these people,” heard the commotion.

“I heard two gunshots,” she said. “I looked out the window, I see six or seven little boys run that way.”

Harrisburg police said the suspected shooter fired into a group of young teens. The 14-year-old was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound to the hand. Police said the teen was recovering.

Neighbors said they heard glass breaking moments before the gunshots were fired, leading them to believe the shooter fired at the crowd due to the vandalism.

“[He was] a little too upset,” said Dolores Lorca. “Children will be children. Things happen, then you go to the parents … not just go and shoot somebody like that.”

Shimika Smith said parents should teach kids not to break things, and adults should know better than to react with violence.

“You don’t have to shoot at a child for vandalism,” she said.

Police would only say they are investigating the matter. As of late Wednesday afternoon, they did not have anyone in custody.

The Uptown neighborhood has been on edge of late. A series of retaliation shootings have people concerned for their safety as well as kids in the neighborhood. Police said Tuesday’s incident is not related to prior shootings in the area.

“It’s very scary,” a woman said. “I’ve got young grandchildren here. It’s very scary. Matter of fact, it’s a lot of kids in this neighborhood.”

“People are always spray painting subways and stuff. Cops aren’t cowboying it up with those people,” Smith said.

Lorca said she, too, can’t fathom why someone would shoot at a group of kids, but would like to hear the suspect’s reasoning.

“Who knows, there may be something more to the story than what we’re hearing,” she said. “That sounds kind of ridiculous to shoot somebody over broken glass. You can get glass replaced, but you can’t replace a life.”

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