On Monday, October 10, 2022, at around 6:45 pm, Jeremiah Wilcox was shot in the head multiple times while on his way to meet a friend. The 13-year-old was pronounced dead just hours later.
According to police, the shooting took place at 65th Avenue and Smedley Street in West Oak. They alleged that the teenager was shot multiple times in the face and head.
Wilcox was immediately taken to Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:12 pm, just a couple of hours after he was found by the police.
Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said that officers responded to a 911 call about gunshots. Upon reaching the spot, they found Jeremiah unconscious on the sidewalk. He was bleeding heavily from his face. Small added that Jeremiah never regained consciousness.
Police officers were unable to recover any weapons at the crime scene and no arrests have been made as police are at a loss as to why Jeremiah Wilcox was targeted and shot to death.
Detectives believe that two young males may have fled the crime scene and gone northwards. However, their identities and connection to Jeremiah Wilcox's death remains unknown.
The Police Chief Inspector further said that they are unsure if the teen was struck by stray gunfire. However, he added that they are left wondering why someone would shoot a teen intentionally.
The 13-year-old is the latest victim of Philadelphia's deadly gun violence that has claimed multiple lives in 2022 alone. According to statistics collected by the Office of the City Controller, 186 victims shot in the city this year are younger than the age of 18.
Police Chief Inspector Scott Small has urged witnesses to come forward with any information on the shooting. Stating that witness information is one of the most important things, Small said that even if someone heard an argument or fight beforehand, notifying the police about it would help them.
At the same time, Jerry T. Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, blamed the government for not allowing the state to "legislate common sense gun laws."
Jeremiah Wilcox's mother mourns the loss of her young son whom she calls her "best friend"
On Monday evening, Jasmine Wilcox called her teen son and asked him to be home by 8 pm as it was a school night. However, Jeremiah Wilcox never made it back home. Just minutes after talking to his mother, the teen was shot to death.
Also known as Jay, Wilcox aspired to be an engineer and had just begun looking at potential high schools with his mother. The heartbroken mother is now left behind dealing with the untimely death of her son.
She said that he was her best friend and added:
"I'm not going to get to see him no more. His smile would light up the room. The fact I'm not going to get that every night no more is tearing me up inside."
Now all that Jasmine wants is justice for her son and to keep Jeremiah Wilcox's name alive. His aunt, Jamillah Patterson, remembers him as a baby who loved deeply who "didn't deserve this."
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wilcox loved playing football and basketball. In his free time, he watched anime and played video games like Fortnite and Call of Duty with his cousins.
His cousin Isaiah told ABC that Jeremiah's death isn't something that the family will really ever heal from. Isaiah said that his cousin was funny and called Jeremiah Wilcox the funniest person he knew, adding that he was into sports and loved playing games.
Isaiah also said that he worries about Wilcox's five-year-old sister who is still waiting for Jeremiah to come home.