Two 17-year-old boys were hospitalized in critical condition after being stabbed Wednesday afternoon in the Market-Frankford Line subway concourse at Eighth and Market Streets, Philadelphia police said.
The stabbings occurred about 3:30 p.m. on the eastbound side of the Market-Frankford Line near the cashier's booth, SEPTA authorities said.
One youth was stabbed in his neck, stomach, and left arm, and taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, police said. The other was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital after being stabbed in his chest and stomach and cut on the wrist.
Witnesses reported that a fight broke out near the cashier's booth and another teenage boy stabbed the two 17-year-olds before fleeing, possibly on the train, SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said. Police are reviewing video to help identify the suspect, he said. No arrest has been reported.
On Thursday morning, Philadelphia police described the suspect as a black male, 17 to 18 years old, 5-foot-9, and about 160 pounds. He had close-cut black hair and wore a blue-and-gray hooded jacket with a red stripe, black pants, and black sneakers, police said.
Brittany Sampson, 23, of University City, said she was walking down the stairs to the underground concourse when she saw both stabbing victims. The boy with the neck wounds was taken by people he knew to a platform in the middle of the stairway on the eastbound side, she said.
"He said, 'If I don't make it, tell my mom I love her,' " Sampson recalled in a phone interview. A crowd gathered around the teen, including a female who said she was his sister and who was on her cellphone and was "very hysterical," Sampson said.
"He was holding his neck, keeping pressure at his neck," she said of the youth.
A man in the crowd said he was the teen's teacher, said Sampson, although she was unsure what school they attended.
The other victim was still in the underground concourse, standing against a wall, with people he knew around him, said Sampson.
Another witness, Antoinette Daniels, 46, said she was near the entrance to the station when she heard people screaming and asking for someone to call 911. She did not see the stabbing or the victims, but watched as panicked people rushed up the stairs and police and ambulances later responded.
"It was scary," Daniels said.