Any person who knew 18-year-old Tommie Frazier could easily see the great talent this kid had on the basketball court. It didn’t matter where Frazier played basketball at. Once Frazier put a basketball in his hand, the former Boys Latin basketball standout could thrill the crowd with his ankle-breaking moves and blind passes he would do behind his back. And when Frazier wanted to shake off defenders, he would hit one of his unbelievable jump shots to blow people’s minds in the stands.
In many high school games, Frazier did many incredible things on the basketball court. The talented petite point guard always did things that left basketball fans shaking their heads. Frazier loved the game and the game loved him. Frazier loved the game until the day he died. Frazier always had dreams of playing basketball in the NBA.
Unfortunately, Frazier never had a chance to fullfill his NBA dream. His life was cut short in a triple shooting back on July 21. Gunfire erupted around 12 noon, near the intersection of 56th & Vine Street, in the Haddington neighborhood. The deadly shooting happened across the street from a day care center, near a local bus stop. Tommie Frazier was identified as one of the victims along with 16-year-old Kaylin “KJ” Johnson who was also shot and killed near the day care center. In November, Frazier was scheduled to play basketball at Simon Gratz High School. He had just tranferred from Boys Latin Charter.
When police arrived at the scene, Frazier was found laying on the street. Police say Frazier was riddled with gunshots to his body. Meantime, his long-time friend, Kaylin Johnson, was also found badly shot inside a Blue Hyundai Elantra. Johnson had gunshot wounds to the face and body. Police say both victims were taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where they were both pronounced dead. Authorities say another 16-year-old victim suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder during the gunfire. He has since recovered from the triple shooting.
A few days later, Mayor Kenney said during a press conference that the triple shooting represents “a sadness that should effect every Philadelphia citizen. He said “We are losing a generation of young people who could be great contributors in today’s society. Mayor Kenney also reiterated that he does not intend a declare state of emergency over the recent gun violence. Mayor Kenney said he doesn’t believe it would make a significant difference, especially after the city had already addressed the issue. Kenney’s stance on this issue has angered many community leaders and members of City Council. City Council have criticized Mayor Kenney’s administration for failing to treat the crisis with any type of urgency. Meantime, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw hasn’t been happy about the large number of murders across the city. Right now, she feels the city is living in total fear.
“I don’t want us to live in fear,” Outlaw said. We are all residents. And we have to take back our community. Right now, we have to take back our blocks.”
Today, Police Commissioner Outlaw and other law officials still can’t come up with a solution to stop the recent killings in the city. Since the triple shooting, authorities have not made any arrests. Today, they still need the public’s help to track down the killer. Since the double murder, investigators still haven’t determined what sparked the triple shooting.
According to Philadelphia Police, Frazier was sitting in the car with a few of his friends. On that day, they were on their way to play some basketball. That’s when a gunman approached the car from the street. The suspect fired several shots and killed Frazier and Kaylin Johnson at the scene. Police say they found 17 shell casings around the car.
It had just been a few weeks since Kaylin Johnson got his driver’s license. He picked up his friends and they were on their way to play basketball. The mother of 16-year-old Kaylin Johnson says her last conversation with her son was when he asked permission to drive the car to the YMCA before she went to work. Unfortunately, he never made it there. This coming September, Kaylin Johnson was headed into his junior year at Boys Latin Charter School. According to the school’s statistics, Johnson became the sixth student from Boys Latin Charter School to lose their life over gun violence. And he was the second in just a few months. Four months ago, Boys Latin High School had lost another student to gun violence. Kahree Simmons, a beloved member of the Class of 2023, was shot and murdered at Christy Recreation Center.
Since the death of Tommie Frazier, there were two vigils held in his memory. The first one was held at Christy Recreation Center where he grew up and played basketball. And back on July 26, family and friends attended a memorial for Frazier at Boys Latin High School. Meantime, the mother of Tommie Frazier had to bury her son with money from her own savings.
In a sad twist of events, Tommie Frazier and Kaylin Johnson ran in the same basketball circles with Quamir Mitchell, a West Philadelphia High player who just two months ago was fatally shot and killed on the 5600 block of Grays Avenue where a basketball court is located in Southwest Philadelphia. That month, Mitchell was set to graduate from West Philadelphia High in the next two weeks.
In mourning the death of Quamir Mitchell, the talented West Philadelphia High basketball star played a number of games with Frazier in summer league games. The two players were inseparable. And now both are gone. Both were incredible young basketball players. Today it’s hard to believe both teenagers have tragically been taken away. The death of Kaylin Johnson was also a tragic lost. All three teenagers had dreams of playing basketball in the NBA. All three teenagers lost their life by deadly gunfire. Today, the West Philly basketball community continues to mourn their death. The news of their death is still a bitter pill to swallow.