Sherita Hamilton: Teen babysitter fatally shot in front of seven young cousins in Wynnefield Heights

Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a teen babysitter in Wynnefield Heights last night.

Officers said Sherita Hamilton, 19, was shot in the head in the doorway of her aunt and uncle’s home on the 1700 block of North Aberdeen Street shortly after 9 p.m. and died on the scene. Investigators do not believe that Hamilton, who lived nearby on the 2100 block of North Wanamaker Street in Overbrook, was the intended target.

Hamilton’s aunt Paula, who asked that her last name not be used, said that Hamilton was at her house with her seven children, each between the ages of two and 11. “She was babysitting my kids,” she said. “They saw the whole thing.” A memorial of stuffed animals and notes on the porch of the home was growing this afternoon as officers continued to interview neighbors. They took one young man away in a police car, but said he was not a person of interest in the crime.

Lt. John Walker of the Southwest Detective Division said that the gunfire rang out as a young
man was being chased down Aberdeen Street by two armed men.
“Unfortunately, he runs up the steps as [Hamilton] is opening the door
of the property she’s babysitting inside,” Walker said. “They keep
shooting at the house and she was shot in the head.”

“She just started college, nursing school,” Paula said of her niece this afternoon as tears streamed down her face. “She didn’t bother [anybody]. We’ve lived here for 12 years and we’ve never had anything like this happen.” She said that Hamilton was deeply passionate about dedicating her life to the health care profession. She was an active member of her church, where she grew up singing and ushering.

Police are investigating whether Hamilton’s death was related to the shooting of a 26-year-old man on the same block shortly after 11:30 a.m. Sunday afternoon. He was wounded four times in the stomach and is still in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Paula said that she did not know any details about that incident.

Hamilton’s uncle, who also lives at the home, declined comment. “I’m just too shook up,” he said.