Philadelphia girl, 15, killed while playing basketball one week after birthday
A makeshift memorial has been erected at the playground where Simone-Monea Rogers was shot a block from her home.
A teenage girl was shot and killed on a Philadelphia playground just one week after her 15th birthday.
Simone-Monea Rogers was playing basketball with her brother and two friends at the Jerome Brown Playground in Philly’s Tioga section last Tuesday evening when shots were fired in their direction. The teenage girl was struck twice in the head.
She died of her injuries at Temple University Hospital the next day.
“It’s very tragic,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. “It [surveillance video] shows this 15-year-old female actively playing basketball, actually dribbling the basketball, when she suddenly collapses when she gets shot.”
Small added that when police arrived, Rogers was lying face down on the basketball court alone.
The teenager was known in the neighborhood, according to police, and lived a block away from the playground. A makeshift memorial has been erected there in her honor.
Philadelphia Councilwoman Cindy Bass called on mothers to be proactive in the fight against violence in the city.
“These are young people who are primarily doing the shootings. They live with us. They live with you. And so we want you to run through that room and make sure that we know if you have a gun in your household, get it out,” Bass said according to CBS Local news.
CBS reporter Matt Petrillo shared on Twitter that Rogers was about to embark on her freshman year at West Catholic High School.
As of July 20, 1,289 people have been shot in Philadelphia in 2021, and increase of 29% from last year. The number of fatal shootings is up 44% from 2020.
According to reports, more than 120 children have been shot, and 21 have been killed — which is up 250% from 2020.
There have been calls for Mayor Jim Kenney to declare a state of emergency as gun violence in the metropolis surges to record levels. Kenney declined to make the emergency declaration, saying, “It’s not a solution that will demonstrably change conditions.”
Philadelphia Councilmember Jamie Gauthier said, “His response that he’s already doing all he can provides no sense of comfort to the people in my district that are being traumatized by gun violence.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw recently said in a statement that “the brazenness with which these assaults are carried out is appalling. The lack of regard for human life is affecting innocent bystanders, and our children are being caught in the crossfire.”
The commissioner added that officers are seizing record numbers of illegal guns and that her department is “laser-focused on enforcing the law while deterring crime,” while pledging police would continue to seek partnerships with other agencies and community members “to effect long-term and sustainable change.”