PHILADELPHIA - An outraged Mayor Michael Nutter lashed out after three 14-year-olds in his city were killed, calling the shooter "a dog," "idiot" and "a**hole." He also fumed at the dead boys' parents for not adequately supervising their children, saying that "their little butts" should have been in bed.
The mayor's on-camera remarks came after a 30-year-old stepfather opened fire on a car full of kids who came over to fistfight with his three stepsons Tuesday night, according to police, reported NBCPhiladelphia.com. A source told NBC Philadelphia that Axel Barreto confessed to firing shots at the car, killing three teenagers inside. He was arrested Wednesday night in a Bensalem, Pa., motel.
Police said that around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, seven teens drove over to a house in Philadelphia's Juniata section. Barreto was waiting with a semi-automatic in the driveway, NBC Philadelphia reported. He fired about a dozen shots into the car, hitting four of them, police said; the 16-year-old driver, whose neck was grazed by a bullet, is expected to make a full recovery.
While Mayor Nutter expressed satisfaction over Barreto's swift arrest, on Thursday night, he told reporters that the situation left him exasperated.
“Seven young people, somewhere between 14 and 16 years old, on a Tuesday night -- a school night -- are out in a car going to somewhere to have a fight with some other teenager. That is completely insane, it is irresponsible," he said. "Parents have to know where their children are and what they are doing.
Jacqueline Larma / AP
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, seen in Nov. 2011
“The least you can do is know where the hell your kids are, in the daytime, in the nighttime, or at any time during the week or on the weekends. That’s the minimum we should ask and expect from our parents. You want to have kids? Take care of them.”
The victims were looking for trouble, he said.
“Their little butts should have either been in bed, getting ready for bed, or doing some homework,” Nutter said, reported CBS 3 in Philadelphia. “Not out in a car, not in some other neighborhood, and not up to this kind of nonsense. I’m not your mom and I’m not your dad. We cannot completely legislate, or by policy, make people responsible for their children.”
And to Barreto, he said this: "If you want to act like an idiot, you want to be an a**hole, you want to be a lowlife in this town, we will track you down like the dog that you are."
The other teenagers who were in the car on Tuesday night were cooperating with police to help investigators figure out the timeline of events that led up to the deadly shooting, according to NBCPhiladelphia.com. One of the people in the car that night allegedly received a call asking them to meet in the driveway that night, they told police.
The shooting resulted from an argument that originated on Facebook, reported NBCPhiladelphia.com. Nutter said he hoped this would serve as an example for other teens to avoid retaliatory acts. “It is not going to work out well for any of you," he said.
Barreto was formally charged with the murders of the three 14-year-olds on Thursday morning.
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