Police are looking for a gunman who allegedly shot Semaj O’Branty in the back of the head during a shootout, leaving him critically injured

By KC Baker
November 08, 2019 11:00 AM
Semaj O'Branty, 10
Family Handout

A 10-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was shot in the back of the head by a stray bullet during a shootout on the way home from school, say police.

Semaj O’Branty was waiting on the corner for his mother inside a store in the Frankford section of Philadelphia on Wednesday at about 3:30 p.m., just steps away from his home, when shots rang out, say Philadelphia police, local station CBS Philly reports.

At that moment, a red or maroon four-door Pontiac G6 turned the corner, near where the boy was standing, Capt. John Walker of the Philadelphia Police Department tells local station CBS Philly.

“The back rear driver window comes down and you see an arm extend out the window and he begins to fire,” Walker said.

“Some just sprays the corner,” he said.

A man standing near the boy allegedly “tries to cover the kid and protect the kid, but the kid takes a shot and you see him go down in the video,” Philadelphia Walker said.

When the boy was shot, the man allegedly fired back at the gunman in the car, he said.

The man then dragged the child into a driveway behind the corner store, Walker said, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Local resident Harry Stork said he heard 11 to 13 shots, “right in a row,” he told local station WIS 10.

“Next thing I knew, there was a lady down the street holding the boy’s back of his head and they rushed him off to the hospital.”

The child was rushed to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where he remains in critical but stable condition.

He is expected to survive, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Police arrested the man who fired back at the gunman, CBS Philly reports.

They are still searching for the gunman who shot the boy.

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Police have not yet identified the man in custody.

The boy was not the target of the alleged gunman, say police, CBS Philly reports.

Medical assistant Jahaira Cruz rushed to help when she saw that the boy was shot.

“I noticed that the young man had a wound to the neck, on the left side of his neck,” she told CBS Philly. “So I instinctively just kicked in and grabbed someone’s sweatshirt and correctly applied pressure to the area. As I was doing that, I had already started calling 911 prior.”

The boy still had his backpack on when he was shot, Cruz told The Philadelphia Inquirer. He was laying on top of a toy walkie talkie and was telling her, “My head hurts! My head hurts!” she told the outlet.