SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA - A 16-year-old basketball standout was shot and killed near a playground in Southwest Philadelphia Thursday night just two weeks before graduation
West Philadelphia High School basketball coach Adrian Burke says his Thursday phone call with his player 16-year-old Quamir Mitchell ended the same way it always does. He just didn't know it would their last.
"He was a real likable person, real likable person like you meet him and you just gotta like him," Burke said. "You just knew he was going to be successful. He wasn't going to let nothing stop him."
Just two weeks before graduation, Mitchell, known as "Day Day," was shot and killed around 7:30 p.m. Thursday near the playground at Ithan Street and Gray's Avenue. A 13-year-old was also hurt in the shooting.
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson came back Friday for a Peace Not Guns Safety Walk in a neighborhood usually considered quiet.
"You figure, dad, I'm going to the courts, he's going to be safe so it's really rough on the family right now," Burke explained.
Mitchell's former coaches say West Philly's Christy Recreation Center is where he started playing basketball. On Friday nights, it's now home to a "Skills and Drills" clinic with local coaches, schools and Philly police.
A positive and safe way for kids to kick off the weekend to prevent violence that ripped Mitchell's life away.
"At such a young age, he was a pillar. He was a trendsetter," former coach Gene Lett said. "This kid had dreams and goals to be something within his own right especially a basketball player he's going to be truly missed."
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