A Philadelphia carjacking that left three children dead has turned into a citywide manhunt for the suspects police say plowed into siblings who were selling fruit for their church.
The incident took place earlier this week, when two carjacking suspects rammed a stolen SUV into a family at a roadside fruit stand. Three children — ages 15, 10, and 7 — were killed and their 34-year-old mother was in critical condition at Temple University Hospital. A 65-year-old victims was also hurt in the crash.
Police said the two Philadelphia carjacking suspects fled on foot after crashing the car, escaping into North Philadelphia. In the hours that followed, police instituted a citywide manhunt, and on Saturday the reward for their capture was upped to $110,000.
Witnesses say the carjackers left behind a chaotic scene before fleeing into the city. They had initially carjacked a 45-year-old, and then stole the SUV.
“All they said was my grandma got hit, and there were bodies everywhere,” Sakina Brown, granddaughter of the 65-year-old victim, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “My heart was about to jump out of my chest.”
In the neighborhood around the accident, the children were remembered for tending to their church’s community garden.
“They took pride in their garden,” neighbor Joyce Fisher said, adding that at the time of the accident the children were helping the church raise money for a playground.
“To see the garden there, and the gate not open — not to see them there — it’s hard,” Fisher said.
Philadelphia police were furious at the carjackers’ callous actions.
“There are no words to describe how I feel right now,” said police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, “but we do need to find these two guys.”
The manhunt intensified over the weekend, with Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter saying he was heartbroken.
As the manhunt entered its third day on Sunday, police said they were hopeful that the Philadelphia carjacking suspects would be caught. But they offered no new details and did not identify the suspects, but said they did have a number of concrete leads.