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Suspects in separate playground shootings both boys, 16

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 12:39:47 PM CST
Updated On: Oct 29 2013 06:00:03 PM CDT

Parks and playgrounds are meant to provide a safe place for kids to have fun.

READING, Pa. -

Two teenagers are behind bars following separate shootings on two playgrounds in Reading.

Both Anthony Russel, and Omar Altruz are being held on $500,000 bail and facing adult charges, police said.

"We are going to do everything necessary to make sure our playgrounds are safe, and that people who have these weapons in their hands are dealt with," said Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer.

According to police, Russel was the first alleged gunman, shooting a person at the Second and Oley Playground last Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Less than a week later, police said Altruz fired four shots at a male victim at the Reading Iron Playground. The incident occurred in broad daylight early Monday evening, Oct. 28.

"It's uncomfortable, you know. The neighborhoods aren't as safe anymore," said Gary Bair, of Reading, adding that he isn't surprised by the ages of the alleged gunman. "Not really. There's individuals that are younger than that. It's scary. You gotta be careful out here."

Preliminary hearings are scheduled for the first week of November.