PHILADELPHIA — Two gunmen fired on a group of people gathered for a trophy presentation after a neighborhood youth basketball game, killing the league’s organizer and a teenager, and wounding four others.
About 50 people were at a playground when the shooting occurred around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, but the violence had nothing to do with the earlier basketball game, Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.
The two men fired at least 15 shots and have not been caught, police said.
Three of the injured — men ages 20, 23, and 45 — were hospitalized in critical but stable condition, police said. An 18-year-old victim was treated and released for a graze wound.
Investigators believe the 19-year-old who was killed, Darren Hankins, of North Philadelphia, may have been the target.
Also killed was league organizer Miles Mack, 42, who started the league in his West Philadelphia neighborhood in 2004 as a way of keeping children out of trouble and, according to the league’s Web site, ‘‘to provide an alternate outlet to a sometimes dangerous environment.’’
The league, the Xtra Miles Developmental Basketball League, sought to provide children with positive role models and to help youth live up to their potential, according to the Web site. The Web site notes that, besides basketball equipment, the league provided players with information on college, jobs and drug prevention.
Rick Young, executive director of the Mantua Community Improvement Committee, called Mack a pillar of the community. ‘‘It’s a tragedy that things like that happen to good people,’’ he said.
Mack was passionate about giving young people an outlet and helping them reach their potential, Young said.
‘‘That’s not an easy thing, to put together a league with 50, 60, 100 teenagers, that takes a lot of energy for anybody — just to deal with the attitudes of teenagers today, that’s a lot of energy,’’ Young said. ‘‘For someone to be passionate about it like that, that shows great character.’’
Mack had worked for 16 years at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he was a transportation aide, moving patients around the hospital in wheelchairs, beds and stretchers.
‘‘He was a very, very nice guy, very supportive,’’ said Aron Berman, manager of the transportation department. ‘‘We’re all just very shocked and upset about what’s happened. It’s a tremendous loss that really hurts us.’’