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Kingsessing mass shooting: “My son is scarred forever,” father of 13-year-old survivor says


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    PHILADELPHIA (KYW) — We’ve been reporting all week about the mass shooting that happened Monday night in Kingsessing. In the aftermath, we relayed the story of a 13-year-old boy who took quick action to save his own life during that shooting rampage.

The boy’s father was emotional. After multiple surgeries, he says his son will recover from that shooting.

But he’s heartbroken so many others lost loved ones on that tragic and deadly day.

“I wasn’t even there and I’m devastated so I can just imagine for my son,” Rafiq Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald remembers the horrifying moments he got the call that his 13-year-old son had been shot.

“I can’t understand how much hatred you can have in your heart,” he said.

Fitzgerald says his son was walking with his best friend from a corner store in Kingsessing but the two never made it back.

Police say a gunman started firing at the teens seemingly at random from across the street with an AR-style rifle.

“That’s like a military-grade gun in a residential area,” the father said.

His 13-year-old son was struck twice in his leg. Then as the gunman kept firing, crossing the street and walking towards him, his son rolled under a truck and played dead. Police quickly arrived and rushed him to a nearby hospital.

Petrillo: Do you think he saved his own life?

Fitzgerald: Yes, he had to.

Fitzgerald also praises his son’s friend, 15-year-old Da’Juan Brown, who he says distracted the gunman. Brown was then fatally shot.

“As an adult, you can imagine losing your best friend so imagine being there and being a teenager,” he said. “It’s kind of mine boggling for me.”

Fitzgerald’s son was initially listed in critical condition but he underwent surgeries and is expected to physically recover.

“As a grown man, what can a kid do to you that you want to harm them?” Fitzgerald said.

Petrillo: If there was something you could say to the gunman what would tell him?

Fitzgerald: I just pray that my son can get the proper justice because this is, my son is scarred forever.

The gunman faces five murder charges and several attempted murder charges. He is expected in court later in July.

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