Stepfather sought in Juniata Park quadruple shooting that killed two teens
Police are looking for the stepfather of three brothers as a person of interest in the quadruple shooting that killed two teens in Juniata Park last night.
Seven teenagers drove to the rear a home on the 1500 block of East Luzerne Street around 10:30 p.m., where they expected to meet the three brothers for a prearranged fistfight.
Instead, they were approached by a 30-year-old Hispanic male wearing a gray hoodie, possibly the boys’ stepfather, who fired 10 shots into the car indiscriminately, Capt. James Clark of the Homicide Unit said.
Javier Orlandi, 16, of the 200 block of East Mayfield Street in Kensington, was shot in the upper back and Joshua Soto, 14, of the 900 block of Poplar Street in North Philadelphia, was shot in the shoulder and forearm. Both were driven to St. Christopher’s Hospital, where they died shortly before 11 p.m.
Dante Lugo, 14, was shot in the back of the head and is on life support. He is not expected to survive, Clark said. Also shot was the 16-year-old driver who transported the other three victims to the hospital. He was hit in the neck and is in stable condition.
The two groups of kids had an ongoing beef that began at Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School in Kensington, where many of them were students, Clark said. He could not comment on the exact nature of the fight, other than that it might have to do with the fact that they were from different neighborhoods but
“There was a lot of back and forth on Facebook, as far as taunting and threatening,” he said.
Investigators have not yet searched the car, but Clark said there is no indication that the seven teens had any type of weapons. Police are concerned about retaliation and are working with the school and the police district commander to ensure everyone’s safety.
At the moment, their main priority is getting the suspect, Axel Barreto, off the street. His last known address is on the 2000 block of North 5th Street in North Philadelphia. “Right now, he’s a person of interest, but we feel very strongly that he was involved,” Clark said. “There very easily could have been seven dead teens inside that vehicle.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334, or to dial 911.
“We’ve obviously had a lot of violence on the streets of our city over the last 24 hours,” said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. Four were killed and three critically injured since yesterday morning. Along with yesterday’s double stabbing in South Philadelphia, the homicides bring the new year’s total to 12 in its first 11 days.