Another young life was cut short due to gun violence on Tuesday afternoon. While waiting for the bus to take him home from school, 14-year-old Samir Jefferson was shot 18 times. Shortly thereafter, Jefferson was transported to Temple University Hospital, but he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, the Philadelphia Police Department brought in two people of interest for questioning. However, no motive has been determined and no charges have been filed.
“Earlier today, we lost another young life to senseless gun violence — the fourth since yesterday,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw told the Associated Press.
“My heart grieves for the victims, their families, and this city. While we cannot bring back those lost, the Philadelphia Police Department will ensure that these cases are fully investigated so that these victims and their families receive closure and justice.”
Jefferson's mother, sister and brother were deeply shaken by his sudden death. Collectively angered and saddened by what took place, members of his family remembered the joy and happiness that he brought to the world.
“What did you gain except for becoming a murderer except for taking somebody else’s child," Jefferson's mother told NBC 10.
The teenager's school, Thomas Edison High School, in Philadelphia also issued a statement.
"At the School District of Philadelphia, our hearts ache for each and every family and community in Philadelphia that has been affected by gun violence. The caring educators and staff across our School District experience daily the devastating toll that this crisis of gun violence is having on our students, families, communities and city. We stand united with all those across the city who are heartbroken and outraged by the tragic loss of life of our young people, and reiterate our collective call to action to stop the violence," school officials told ABC 6.
"We will continue to build on the student mental health and wellness staff and resources we have intentionally added to our schools, collaborate with our city colleagues to support programs such as School Safety Zones that promote safer environments for our students, and do all we can to provide an arm of protection for our students when they are in our care."
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.