Teen shot outside high school graduation

June 18, 2008 at 12:00 AM
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PHILADELPHIA, June 17 (UPI) -- An 18-year-old was shot Tuesday a few minutes after he graduated from a Philadelphia high school when a brawl broke out between two school factions.

The shooting occurred outside the Temple University auditorium where Strawberry Mansion High School held its graduation ceremony.

Khiry Caldwell was in stable condition a few hours later at Temple University Hospital, his parents told The Philadelphia Inquirer. They said their son was not involved in the fight but suffered a broken rib and bruised lung when he was wounded.

Caldwell had just received his diploma from Strawberry Mansion High School, which is located in North Philadelphia, one of the city's poorest and most violent neighborhoods. In 2004, a 16-year-old was killed and three other students were injured in a shootout that allegedly occurred over a $50 debt.

Police Capt. Laurence Nodiff called the crime "absolutely shocking and deplorable."

Philadelphia's homicide rate has risen sharply. Early Monday, a young Minnesota man who had just moved to Philadelphia to do graduate work at Drexel University and teach in the city schools was killed in a robbery a block from his home.

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