Police say suspect in East Falls shooting is a ‘known-doer’

If a shooting can ever be rationalized, the following, overheard at the crime scene, temporarily sufficed: it was warm, it was Tuesday, and it was Philly.

At approximately 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening, personnel from the 39th Police District responded to the Berkshire Apartments on the 2900 block of West School House Lane in East Falls for reports of a shooting.

Upon their arrival, police found one victim in the parking lot with one gunshot wound to the lower abdomen, according to Chief Inspector Scott Small. The victim was described as being a male in his mid-30s who did not live at the Berkshire Apts. He was transported by Philadelphia Fire Department Paramedics to Temple University Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.

‘We know who we’re looking for’ 

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Chief Small said that the victim knew the suspect and identified him to police.

The suspect, whose name was withheld by police, was described as being a male in his late 20s to early 30s wearing a blue shirt and blue pants. He was last seen leaving the scene westbound on West School House Lane in a black 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix with tinted windows.

Police said the motive appeared to be a robbery went awry.

Northwest detectives were processing the shooting scene on Tuesday night, with particular attention being paid to a single bullet hole in the rear of a parked Toyota sedan. Chief Small said that police believed that the bullet that struck the victim exited his body and lodged itself in the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle was otherwise unconnected to either assailant or victim.

Small said that several witnesses were being interviewed by detectives and that district officers were actively pursuing the suspect.

He emphasized that the suspect was, in police parlance, a “known-doer.”

“We know who we’re looking for,” Small observed.

Residents react

While detectives and other police personnel monitored the crime scene, a steady stream of residents returning to the apartment complex expressed surprise at being told that a shooting had occurred at their home.

For residents gathered around the yellow police tape after the shooting, the shock had mostly worn off.

Ashlynn Ritter, a junior at nearby Philadelphia University and two-month resident of the Berkshire Apartments, was incredulous upon hearing of the shooting, but quickly found herself at the scene.

“We live here,” she said. “We should be nosy.”

While Ritter appeared to be taking it in stride, she said her mother was somewhat disconsolate upon hearing the news.

“My mom said, ‘I’m ready for you to pick up and come home right now,'” Ritter related.

Brittany Erdman, a junior at Philadelphia University and Ritter’s roommate, said her own upbringing in Allentown prepared her to some degree for such occurrences.

“I’m from the ‘hood,” said Erdman. “I’m used to this, but definitely not here.”

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