PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police say a 6-year-old boy has been shot in Philadelphia, marking the second shooting of a 6-year-old in the city this week.
Police say the boy was shot once in the chest and once in the right leg Thursday in the Germantown section of the city. He is listed in critical condition and remains hospitalized.
Three men, a 33-year-old and two 29-year-olds, were also shot Thursday and are in stable condition.
According to details released Friday of a preliminary investigation, the boy had just been picked up by the 33-year-old man when someone in another car shot at them.
On Tuesday, a 6-year-old girl was hit by a stray bullet while playing in front of her home in the nearby West Oak Lane neighborhood. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, a 27-year veteran of the department, said he has never seen anything like this week's dual shootings of small children.
"We're talking about little babies," said Ross, who visited both children in the hospital. "That's not supposed to happen anywhere."
There have been more than 770 shootings in Philadelphia this year, up 12 percent from this time last year. There have been 172 homicides, a 6 percent year-to-date increase.
Fatal shootings of children have increased by a third in the city this year. Eight children have been killed by gunfire.
Errin Haines Whack covers urban affairs for The Associated Press. Follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/emarvelous and read more of her work at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/errin-haines-whack