John Toomey, father of deceased 15-year-old Sean Toomey, on Wednesday reacted to news of two Philadelphia teenagers charged in the brazen March 24 shooting death of his son.
Philadelphia authorities last week announced the arrests of Daniel Gardee, 17, and Saahir Teagle, 17, who stand accused of fatally shooting the 15-year-old while he was getting a case of water from his family's car near their home.
"I hope they rot in jail, and when they die, I hope they rot in Hell," Toomey told Fox News Digital. "It's not a nice thing to say. But they took away one of the only things I care about in this world."
He and his family, however, are feeling some relief since the suspects were taken into custody and charged. The Philadelphia Police Department has kept in frequent contact with Toomey to help bring justice to his son, and Toomey can only hope that District Attorney Larry Krasner does the same.
"The DA, he's got a history of giving individuals a little slap on the wrist and having to wear an ankle bracelet when they go home. That's what my concern is," Toomey said. "And … I don't care how young you are ... I want them to go to jail for a long time."
Just two weeks ago, Toomey's truck was "stolen" while it was "parked on a side street," he said.
"I was born and raised in this area. Nothing like this ever happened before, and I'm not simply talking about my son's shooting," he said, adding that he has heard about carjacking incidents "all over" Philadelphia.
The two suspects charged in Sean's killing were involved in a string of crimes before and after they allegedly shot the 15-year-old in his head.
Gardee, Teagle and one other suspect are accused of attempting to rob a woman at gunpoint while she was at an ATM on March 24. They may have also been involved in an attempted carjacking later that same day before they fatally shot Sean outside his family's home, according to Krasner's office.
The Miami Beach Police Department arrested Teagle for disturbing the peace five days after the three March incidents.
Philadelphia police initially took both suspects into custody following an April 14 incident at an Airbnb in which authorities recovered several firearms and charged Teagle with illegal firearm possession, though neither suspect had been tied to Sean's killing at the time, Krasner's office said.
Two months later, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) arrested an individual for a carjacking offense. That individual shared information about Gardee and Teagle that eventually led officers to link the suspects to Sean's death. Krasner's office approved charges against the suspects on June 13.
"Sean Toomey was a child full of promise and hope, like all children," Krasner said in a June 23 statement. "The great potential he held was extinguished in a snap by strangers with firearms. Sean Toomey should be alive today and looking forward to the rest of his life. To those who knew and loved him: The loss of Sean’s life is a grave injustice, and we are heartbroken and outraged by his death."
The district attorney added that "[w]hen unregistered and untraceable guns flow like water because of permissive gun laws that favor industry profits over people’s lives, seemingly random shootings that are not captured on camera or seen by witnesses can be challenging to solve."
Toomey, however, believes that stricter gun laws will not solve the greater issue of violent crime in Philadelphia.
"All they pass to try to stop the buying of guns — it doesn't go anywhere because these kids don't get guns from a reputable gun dealer. They get them off the street. … It's all nonsense. All for show," he said.
Toomey described his son as quiet and well-mannered with a constant smile on his face.