Pennsylvania teen Anthony Alexander Jr., once hailed as hero, killed by accidental gunshot, police say: “A tragic, tragic situation”
Collingdale, Pa. — A Delaware County teen hailed as a hero last winter for saving two children who fell into an icy pond was accidentally shot and killed over the weekend, CBS Philadelphia’s Alicia Stewart reports.
Last March, Anthony Alexander Jr. was honored for his bravery.
On Tuesday night, his family was planning his funeral.
Police say Anthony, 17, was watching the Philadelphia Eagles playoff game inside a home Sunday night with friends. One of the friends had a gun and was playing with it. It accidentally fired, striking Anthony, police say.
“A tragic, tragic situation. A 17-year-old boy lost his life,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said.
Anthony died Sunday night from a single gunshot wound to the head, authorities said.
Bernhardt said a 16-year-old turned himself in for accidentally firing the handgun. According to the criminal affidavit, the shooter didn’t realize the weapon was loaded.
“We’re seeing more and more kids with handguns, firing handguns,” Bernhardt said, “and what we’re finding with our investigations — it’s driven by social media.”
CBS Philadelphia first met Anthony last February. The Collingdale teen was at a park with friends when three children fell into an icy pond.
“He reached his arm out. his arm was close to my hand, so I just pulled him out and the other girl drifted over and I pulled her out,” Anthony told the station at the time.
The third child was rescued by a responding officer.
Two weeks later, Anthony was honored for his bravery by the Collingdale Borough Council.
Anthony was set to receive a medal for his heroism in Washington D.C. in March.
CBS Philadelphia has learned his father will now go in his place.
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