Philadelphia police continue to search for suspects in a deadly shooting outside of a daycare center in the Cedarbrook section of the city.
At 8:49 a.m, Feb. 17, officers responded to shots fired on the 1600 block of Wadsworth Avenue near the corner of Cedarbrook Avenue. There they found Epharant Epperson, 25, of Oreland, Pa., behind the wheel of a parked 1996 blue-green Pontiac with multiple gunshot wounds to the back and chest, according to police. He was later pronounced dead at 9:15 a.m. at Albert Einstein Medical Center, according to police.
The department’s Homicide Unit took two men in for questioning, but neither was charged. “There is no motive and there is no arrest,” said Jillian Russell, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Police Department.
Epperson was reportedly waiting in the car for his fiancée, who was dropping his son off at Agape Baptist Church Daycare, located right above a post office.
The daytime incident also remains a mystery to nearby neighbors, as well as employees who work along the busy commercial corridor. Many weren’t at work yet when the shooting happened. Others were just arriving and simply saw the handful of police cars that swarmed the intersection.
Michelle Kello, an employee with Liberty Tax Service, was one of the apparently few people who saw the immediate aftermath of the brief, but deadly incident.
As Kello opened her car door to head to work, she heard four shots. Her boss saw her and waved her across the street. On the way, Kello saw the car’s shattered windows, then Epperson.
“I heard somebody screaming and then I saw the cop’s coming. And then I saw them pull the guy that was shot out of the car and into the police car to take to the hospital. He was all curled up sort of,” she said.
“It scared me. It really did,” said Kello, who went home shortly afterwards.
For several hours, police cordoned off an area that included the space where Kello typically stands with a sign advertising her employer’s services.
Robert Brown, who lived around the corner from the day care for more than 20 years, was equally upset by the murder, but wasn’t that surprised by it.
“It’s shocking. Unfortunately, now days with young people it’s just a way of life,” said Brown as he sat for a hair cut inside Expressions Hair Salon. “Guns are easy and nobody can just take anything anymore. They have to get retaliation and that type of thing.”
A request to interview someone at Agape Daycare was turned down by an employee there.