Two South Jersey teenagers and an unidentified accomplice beat up and shot a 17-year-old Northeast boy on the grounds of Archbishop Ryan High School on Saturday night, Philadelphia police say.
The victim was hospitalized in stable condition with a wound of the left leg, police said. Police have made two arrests and are seeking a third assailant.
In response to the incident, which occurred when school was not in session, Archbishop Ryan President Denise LePera and Principal Joseph McFadden issued a letter to the parents and guardians of students on Sunday. It stated in part:
“We want to assure you that we are taking this matter seriously and can assure that it was not connected to any activity sponsored by Archbishop Ryan High School. The person who was injured is not one of our students. At this time, we have no indication that any students from Archbishop Ryan were involved.”
The school administrators added that they have been in contact with Philadelphia police about the incident and that they were to address the student body about it during an assembly on Monday.
The attack occurred shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Saturday in a wooded area behind the school at 11201 Academy Road, police said. The victim said that he and a group of friends were hanging out in the woods when two unknown males approached him “regarding buying some narcotics,” police said. The police report does not specify if the unknown males sought to sell or buy drugs.
The victim reported that hostile words were exchanged among the teens before the two unknown males walked away and made a telephone call. A few minutes later, a third unknown male arrived and a fight ensued. During the scuffle, the third unknown male shot the 17-year-old in the leg. The three assailants then ran away.
Paramedics took the victim to Aria Health’s Torresdale campus in stable condition.
A short time after the shooting, two patrol officers from the 8th district spotted two teens walking on the 3800 block of Elmore St. who fit descriptions provided by witnesses to the altercation. Police arrested the two males, who were later identified as Jonathan Rojas, 16, of Camden, and Joshua Sanchez, 19, of Gloucester. Both were charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy, weapons violations and related offenses.
Police did not release a description of the third suspect. ••