Shepard Recreation Center Shooting: Police ID 3 suspects charged in shooting outside West Philly rec center; 5 injured

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Police have identified the three suspects arrested in connection with a shooting outside a West Philadelphia recreation center on Tuesday night that left five people injured.

The suspects – Tahmir Pickney, 24; Marlon Spurell, 22; and Azyear Sutton-Walker, 22, of Philadelphia — were all charged with attempted murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault and related offenses.

Tahmir Pinckney (left), Marlon Spurell (center) and Azyear Sutton-Walker (right)

The shooting occurred while children were playing sports at the Shepard Recreation Center at 57th Street and Haverford Avenue just before 7 p.m

“We just sat there laughing and talking and after that we heard two gunshots,” one teenager, who asked not to be identified, told Action News. “We thought it was fireworks at first, so we didn’t run, but when the automatic weapon went off, we all started running.”

Police say at least two men opened fire from a white Dodge Durango. A total of 96 shots were fired.

Several firearms were found at the crime scene. Two of the victims had gun licenses, police said.

“It’s very, very scary and just very, very unfair for people to have to live in an environment where people are wantonly firing guns without caring about the people around them,” said Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner Christine Coulter.

Two victims were on the sidewalk, two others on the street and a fifth person happened to be driving their BMW through the scene when the gunfire erupted.

The five victims are between 17 and 25 years old.

Two victims, a 21-year-old man and another man, were each shot once in the head and taken to hospital in extremely critical condition.

The three other victims, a 22-year-old man with a gunshot to the right hand, a 25-year-old man with a scrape on his right shoulder and a 17-year-old man with a scrape on the back of the left side of his neck, were in stable condition listed.

No other injuries were reported, but police say children were playing sports at the recreation center at the time of the shooting, including soccer, basketball and cheerleading.

Officers patrolling the area heard gunshots and rushed over.

Officers saw four men get into the white SUV that crashed just blocks away at Haverford Avenue and Farson Street.

“The officers on routine patrol, they hear the shots, they see the masked and heavily armed men running back to the car,” said John Walker, the Philadelphia Police Captain.

Police said after the crash, one of the men ran into a house in the 5500 block of Haverford and was arrested in the basement.

A second man hid under a trailer at 50th and Haverford and was taken into custody.

According to the police, several rifles and handguns were seized from the SUV.

“Thank God our officers were in the area to track and arrest these suspects. Imagine how much worse things could have been if those officers hadn’t been there,” Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said in addition to the three suspects arrested, at least three others are being sought by police to face the very serious charges.

ALSO SEE: Football Players, Cheerleaders Return to Philadelphia Recreation Center After Five Shootings

Parents and children have been devastated by the shooting – many of whom go to camp at the Shepard Recreation Center every day.

“It’s just sad that kids can’t go to a park and just play, you know?” said Sam Mixson.

It is still unclear what triggered the shots.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police at 215-686-TIPS.

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