Two teenagers killed at a party in Chester on Friday night collapsed in each others’ arms and held one another until ambulances came, according to family members yesterday.
Robel Laboy, 18, and David Johnson, 17, were killed when someone opened fire at a Friday night party at Minaret Temple No. 174. Eight others were also wounded.
“My son is a trooper,” said Israel Laboy, 39, “He was hit three times, but he was holding his best friend in his arms, who got hit in the head.”
A 17-year-old was taken into custody on Saturday for weapons-related offenses and reportedly charged him with murder yesterday. The 19-year-old hostess of the party and a third unnamed suspect were reportedly arrested yesterday for risking a catastrophe and assault. Police and the Delaware County district attorney could not be reached.
Laboy was a “unique, talented” senior at Chester High School who planned to attend college, cousin Linda Brown. The teen died Friday night, while Johnson succumbed to his injuries Saturday.
The incident has many in the community questioning the role of Facebook in drawing large crowds of teens and publicizing the whereabouts of would-be targets.
“Apparently, it was on Facebook before the party even happened. It said they were gonna come in and start shooting,” said Laboy. “It was a turf war.”
“They need to throw the parties away, throw Facebook away. Wherever a party’s at in this city, believe me there’s gonna be a killing,” echoed a neighbor, who asked not to be named. “Facebook is a setup. They set people up to get killed.”
Party gone wrong
A security guard was reportedly posted at the door of the Minaret, but the victim’s father said that when the party became crowded, teens began letting their friends in through side entrances, where they were not subjected to pat downs.
Neighbors reported no past problems with violence at the location, which is often rented out for events, but Laboy’s father said that the celebration was the first teen party held at the temple. “I don’t understand why they let teenagers in there,” he said. “It was a sweet 16 party. Why was it at a bar?”