Philly High School Football Star Dies in Shooting; Twin Faces Murder Charges

Eighteen-year-old Suhail Gillard was shot once in the chest Sunday. His twin brother Fayaadh Gillard is accused of killing him.

What to Know

  • Suhail Gillard was shot once in the chest Sunday and died a short time later.
  • His twin brother Fayaadh Gillard has been charged with murder.
  • Both brothers were star football players for Mastery Charter North High School this season.

A star Philadelphia high school football player was shot and killed by his twin brother Sunday evening, police said.

Suhail Gillard was allegedly shot once in the chest by Fayaadh Gillard around 5:20 p.m. inside their father's apartment at the Liberty Towers in the Overbrook neighborhood, investigators said. Sources told NBC10 the two brothers were playing with a gun when it accidentally went off.

The 18-year-old was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead about four hours later.

A weapon was recovered at the scene, and the investigation remains ongoing, Philadelphia police said.

Fayaadh Gillard, also a star football player, was arrested Monday and later charged with murder and lying to officials, according to police and court records. Sources told NBC10 Fayaadh Gillard initially told police his brother was shot by another gunman at a store. Online court records did not list an attorney for him.

Steve Reize, the property manager of Liberty Towers, told NBC10 he spoke to the brothers' father a day after the shooting. The father hasn't returned to the apartment since then.

"He's really distressed about what was happening," Reize said. "He mentioned one son and he's not sure what's going on with the other."

The Gillard brothers were both seniors at Mastery Charter North High School and were recently given first-team All-Public League honors.

Mastery assistant football coach Mickey Grace praised the Gillards' love for football and their ability to overcome pain on the field. But Grace added that the twins were "different" from one another.

Suhail Gillard was a three-time All-Public League running back. School officials said several colleges had expressed interest in recruiting him.

"It’s a tragedy. To come back from the Thanksgiving break and find this out, we’re all just shocked and devastated," Mastery spokeswoman Rae Oglesby said. "Our prayers are with his family and his teammates."

Social workers were on hand at Mastery for students and staff, Oglesby said. Teammates, friends and staff at Mastery Charter also honored the teen with a display at the school's entrance dedicated to "Agent 4," Suhail's nickname.

"It's a simple gesture to honor Suhail and provide some healing for our students," Mastery Charter Principal Chris Ziemba said.

There are additional community resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence. Further information can be found here.

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