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PHILADELPHIA Snowball leads to shooting of girl, 10



Published: Sat, March 1, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The girl shot was not involved in the snowball fight.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The wife of a man who allegedly opened fire on a group of children after his daughter was struck in a snowball fight has been charged with being behind the wheel in the drive-by shooting, which left a 10-year-old girl in critical condition.

Cynthia Powell was charged late Monday night with attempted murder, aggravated assault and related charges in the shooting of Ebony Smith, who was struck in the head as she stood with a crowd of children on a corner near her West Philadelphia home.

Powell, 36, is the wife of Joseph Best, who was charged Monday morning in the incident, police Capt. Charles Bloom said Tuesday. Powell and Best gave different home addresses to police but referred to each other as husband and wife, authorities said.

"We believe Cynthia Powell was driving the car and Joseph Best leaned out the passenger side window of the car and fired into the crowd," Bloom said.

Five shots

Police said Best, 32, fired at least five shots into the group of children Sunday to avenge his daughter, who was hit in the face with a snowball. The youngster was struck as she passed a group of neighborhood children who were engaged in a snowball fight.

It was unclear whether the girl struck with the snowball also was Powell's daughter, police said.

Ebony was not one of the children involved in the snowball fight, police said.

She remained in critical condition Tuesday afternoon at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, a spokeswoman said.

Powell was taken into custody with Best on Monday morning but she was not formally charged until that night, Bloom said.




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