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World Gym Comments about Shooting

PHILADELPHIA -- A World Gym International official has expressed remorse over last week’s shooting at one of the company’s clubs.

Two people were wounded after a shooting took place March 2 during a basketball game at a World Gym in Northeast Philadelphia.

Helen Rockey, chief operating officer of World Gym International, Los Angeles, says the company has been requested not to comment about the active investigation.

“I can’t help but say how sorry we feel for the victims and how much we do not feel that that’s representative of any of our gym owners or any of our gym members,” Rockey says.

The two victims, 26 and 24 years old, were in stable condition at a local hospital, hours after a brawl inside the World Gym led to the shooting. One of the victims was shot in the chest, and the other victim was shot in his stomach, according to multiple media reports. The shooting resulted after an argument over the scoring of the basketball game.

Witnesses told local media that Mujahid Muhammad walked off the court after the argument and made phone calls. He later returned with several people, one of whom had a revolver.

Muhammad fled with several others after the shooting. Muhammad, who also was shot in the melee, was arrested and is charged with attempted murder, criminal conspiracy and aggravated assault. Police were still searching for others involved in the shooting, according to the latest media reports.

About 50 people were inside the World Gym at the time of the shooting, police say. No other injuries were reported.

The 24-hour World Gym in Northeast Philadelphia allows nonmembers to enter on Tuesday nights, a policy police say can lead to crowded courts. It also could lead to scrutiny, Rockey acknowledges.

“The gyms are independently owned and operated, and while we recommend and have a pretty detailed operations manual, it is the owner’s choice in terms of programs and policies,” Rockey says. “But I can certainly see why someone would question that (policy) after this type of an incident.”

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