Teenage hero who helped rescue 3 children killed in accidental shooting, police say

A teenage hero who helped rescue three children from an icy pond nearly a year ago was accidentally shot dead by another teen who posed with a gun on Instagram Live, according to investigators.

At 4:45 p.m. Sunday, Upper Darby police reported a first-floor apartment along the 2400 block of Marshall Road in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, to a reported shooting.

When they arrived they found 17-year-old Anthony Alexander, from Collingdale, on a living room couch, suffering from a gunshot wound to the side of his face. The teenager was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m

Investigators later identified the shooter as 16-year-old Diamire Hickman of Collingdale. They also determined that Hickman was not licensed to carry a concealed firearm. He is also banned from lawfully carrying a gun in Pennsylvania because he is under the age of 18.

On Monday, Hickman surrendered to Upper Darby police with his attorney and mother, investigators said.

During an interview with investigators, Hickman said he and others in the home live-streamed themselves on Instagram and passed around two guns, according to the probable cause affidavit. Hickman said he was holding a Glock-style pistol when he “put his hand on the trigger a little bit,” which caused the gun to go off and hit Alexander, police said.

After accidentally shooting Alexander, Hickman claimed he was unaware there was one in the “head,” referring to a cartridge loaded in the firearm’s chamber, according to the affidavit.

Hickman allegedly told investigators he dropped the gun and fled the apartment. Police said the teenager was caught on surveillance video hopping over a fence near the apartment and walking through the front yard of a house while taking the gun from his pocket and hiding it again.

Hickman was charged with third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and a weapons offense as an adult.

The teenager’s bail was set at 10 percent of $750,000.

NBC10 interviewed Alexander in February last year after the teen helped rescue three children who fell into an icy pond in Collingdale.

The children were standing on a frozen pond in Collingdale Park near Jackson and Hibberd Avenues on February 21, 2022 when they fell through the ice. Alexander spotted the children and rushed to the ice to try to save them.

“It seemed like they just accepted their fate,” Alexander told NBC10’s Aaron Baskerville last year. “So I jumped in and grabbed a stick and pulled out a little kid and the other girl was close enough for me to reach her so I pulled her in too.”

Alexander grabbed a branch and ventured onto the ice himself, but began to fall through.

“I was shocked. It was that cold. My body went into shock,” Alexander said.

As Alexander struggled to save the children, Yeadon Borough police officers drove to the scene but crashed into another squad car on Beechwood Avenue. Fortunately, none of the officers involved were seriously injured.

Another officer arrived at the pond and helped Alexander get all the children to safety.

“They said, ‘Help me. Help me. We’re going to die.’ I was like, ‘No, you’re not going to die,'” Alexander told NBC10.

Alexander received a certificate of bravery from the Mayor of Collingdale for his actions.

“Many of our students, staff and families knew this student,” a spokesman for the Southeast Delaware County school district wrote in a statement. “We are devastated by this loss and are committed to supporting our school community to the fullest.”

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer told NBC10 that Alexander would receive a Young Hero Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation in Washington, DC in March.

“This is a young man who, as you said, was a hero last year and saved some other people from possible drowning,” Stollsteimer told NBC10. “Now he’s gone and his family will have to deal with his absence for the rest of their lives.”