(PHILADELPHIA) — An investigation is underway in Philadelphia to identify a suspect in the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy, whose body was found in a dumpster, according to police.
The grisly discovery was made in West Philadelphia, according to Philadelphia Police Department officials.
The body of the victim, whose name has not been publicly released, was discovered last week, police sources told ABC Philadelphia station WPVI on Wednesday, adding that the boy apparently died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Homicide detectives have been in contact with the child’s family, the sources said.
The body was found in a dumpster near the Arch Houses, a Philadelphia Housing Authority property.
Additional details of the homicide have not been released.
The grim incident comes as Philadelphia police crime data shows that homicides overall are down 20% in the city in 2023, compared to the first eight months of 2022.
Data released by the city’s Office of the Controller shows that of the 289 homicides committed in Philadelphia this year, at least 15 of the victims were under the age of 18. Additionally, at least 960 people in Philadelphia have survived gunshot wounds this year, according to the data.
Among the young victims killed this year was 15-year-old DeJuan Brown, who was fatally shot while protecting a 13-year-old friend during a July 3 mass shooting in the city’s Kingsessing neighborhood that also left three adults dead and two children injured.
The suspect in that shooting, 40-year-old Kimbrady Carriker, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder. The suspect has yet to enter a plea in the case.
Other children killed in shootings in Philadelphia this year include a 2-year-old girl who was accidentally shot to death by her 14-year-old cousin in July, and a 12-year-old boy gunned down in a June 22 drive-by shooting in the Germantown neighborhood, which also claimed the lives of two men. No arrests have been made in the triple homicide.
Nationwide, at least 1,192 children under the age of 18 have been killed in shootings this year, including 204 victims who were younger than 12, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a website that tracks shootings in the United States.