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West Philly High student acquitted of classmate’s murder

Posted on 23 February 2017 by Mike Lyons

A former West Philly High School student was found not guilty on Wednesday of the murder of a classmate near the 46th Street El stop in January 2015.

Xavier Beemon, who was 14 at the time, admitted to stabbing Nafis O’Neal, also 14, with a pocketknife during an after-school altercation, but said it was self defense. A jury agreed and after seven hours of deliberation acquitted Beemon on all charges, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer

Beemon was considerably smaller than O’Neal, who was a popular basketball and football player, according to testimony. Beemon, who moved to West Philly from Alabama in 2011, said he was so fearful of life in Philadelphia that he began hiding a pocketknife near school that he would carry home for protection. O’Neal approached Beemon after school and a scuffle ensued. Beemon said he swung the knife around and stabbed O’Neal once in the chest.

O’Neal was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I didn’t aim at his chest,” The Inquirer reported Beemon saying during testimony. “I just swung and it happened I hit his chest.”

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17-year-old stabbed on 4900 block of Walton (updated)

Posted on 14 June 2016 by WestPhillyLocal.com

A 17-year-old boy was stabbed several times by an older man on Tuesday afternoon, at about 4:15 p.m., on the 4900 block of Walton Avenue, according to police. Police say the teen was stabbed three times in the chest, once in the ribs, and once in the leg. He was found on the sidewalk and was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition.

When he was found the victim told police that he had been stabbed by an unknown male “after they exchanged looks.” Police couldn’t interview the teen at the hospital as he was going into surgery.

The suspect was described as a man with brown complexion in his 30’s, thin build, about 5 feet 8 inches, wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

 

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Police investigating stabbing death near Barkan Park

Posted on 04 April 2016 by WestPhillyLocal.com

Police are investigating the death of a young man, a West Philly resident, who was found with a puncture wound on Sunday morning on the 300 block of South Saint Bernard Street, near Barkan Park. Police believe the man was stabbed.

Medics responded to a call of an unresponsive male lying in the street behind a parked unattended vehicle shortly after 9 a.m. on Sunday and found the man, later identified as 21-year-old Saadiq Abdull Latiyf (aka Saadiq Richardson) with a puncture wound to the upper chest. He was pronounced dead at 9:22 a.m.

18th District police officers responded to the scene and found a cell phone lying next to the victim. No weapon was found.

If you have any information about this crime, please contact Southwest Detective Division at 215-686-3183/3184.

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Fight ends in stabbing on SEPTA bus near 46th and Market

Posted on 04 November 2015 by WestPhillyLocal.com

Police are looking for an unidentified man who they say slashed another man in the head on SEPTA Market-Frankford line Night Owl bus near 46th and Market.

The incident happened around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday and was a result of a fight between the men that broke out on the bus, according to police. The victim sustained a cut to his forehead and was treated at the scene by medics and then released. The suspect fled the scene.

 

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Funeral services this week for 14-year-old stabbing victim Nafis O’Neal

Posted on 22 January 2015 by Mike Lyons

Nafis O’Neil (photo from Twitter).

Funeral services for Nafis O’Neal, the 14-year-old who died after being stabbed by a schoolmate on Jan. 16, are scheduled for Saturday. Nafis has been remembered this week by family, friends and neighbors as a respectful young man who was eager to help other people.

A freshman at West Philadelphia High School, Nafis was raised by his grandmother on the 3800 block of Haverford Avenue. Friends and family gathered on Monday evening for a vigil on the block near 46th and Market where he died when a 16-year-old student stabbed him once in the chest in what appears to be the continuation of a fight that started earlier in the day at the West Philly High cafeteria.

Police say they found a knife and bloody clothing at the suspect’s home on the 3800 block of Haverford Avenue. The 16-year-old was arrested within hours of the stabbing and was charged with homicide and related charges earlier this week. We are not releasing his name because of his age. It is unclear whether he will be tried as an adult.

Morgan Zalot of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote a nice tribute to Nafis here, including words from his aunt.

Nafis was riding his bike when he was killed. He spent a lot of time at Neighborhood Bike Works, the West Philly-based non-profit that helps kids develop leadership skills and responsibility through repairing and riding bikes. The organization tweeted photos of Nafis yesterday:

 


The viewing for Nafis will be held at St. Jude Baptist Church at 632 N. 38th Street on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Arrangements are being made through Mitchum-Wilson Funeral Home.

Mike Lyons

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Student dies after being stabbed by classmate near 46th and Market (updated)

Posted on 16 January 2015 by WestPhillyLocal.com

UPDATE (Saturday, 12:18 p.m.): Police say both youths are from near 38th Street and Haverford Avenue. The alleged assailant now faces a homicide charge. Police are not releasing any names because both are juveniles. It is likely, however, that the alleged assailant will be charged in adult court and his name will be released later.

UPDATE (9:42 p.m.): Several media outlets are reporting that the 14-year-old boy died. 6ABC reported that the boy died at 8:55 p.m. at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

UPDATE (7:40 p.m.): Police say a 16-year-old boy, also a West Philly High student, has been arrested and faces aggravated assault and related charges. A confrontation between the two boys reportedly began earlier in the school day in the high school’s cafeteria.

6:24 p.m.: A 14-year-old West Philadelphia High School student was stabbed this afternoon three blocks from the school, according to police. The student was reportedly stabbed in the chest and is listed in critical condition this evening. The stabbing occurred near 46th and Market at around 3:25 p.m. Police are searching for another student, who reportedly ran up behind the victim while he was riding his bike and stabbed him.

 

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