A 36-year-old man was shot and killed in the 7400 block of Limekiln Pike on Tuesday afternoon.
A police spokesman said the victim, who has not yet been identified, was shot in the head and multiple times in the body just after 3 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene, in the city’s West Oak Lane neighborhood, less than 10 minutes later.
Police did not have a description of the shooter an hour later but are reportedly seeking two or three suspects who may have fled in a vehicle.
Capt. Joel Dales of the 14th Police District told NewsWorks that there is no indication of motive and that “we’re still trying to work things out.”
Update (10 a.m. Wednesday):
Police have identified the victim as Renford Levy of the 7100 block of Dungan Road in Northeast Philadelphia.
Update (12 a.m. Wednesday):
On a late summer afternoon in West Oak Lane, the wails of a dead man’s family members were tinged with a West Indian lilt.
Shortly after 3 p.m. on Tuesday, police officers responded to the rear lot of a building on the 7400 block of Limekiln Pike for reports of a shooting.
Arriving on scene, a 36 year-old male was found beside a silver Acura suffering from at least 10 gunshot wounds to the face, neck, trunk and lower limbs, according to Chief Inspector Scott Small.
At 3:10 p.m., he was pronounced dead on location by Philadelphia Fire Department paramedics.
From the scene
According to Small, the victim was seated outside of a Caribbean restaurant. He added that the deceased was known to loiter in the area with other individuals, but did not work at the restaurant or live nearby.
At least eleven .45 caliber casings were found.
Police believe that the deceased, who was seated with another person, was shot at point-blank range and was the intended target.
Small said initial reports suggest the murder may be related to a domestic dispute, but did not offer further details.
Witnesses indicated to police that two suspects — two males between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-11 inches tall — fled toward the 7400 block of Forest Ave. At least one may have gotten into a white Chevy Traverse with Maryland tags.
Police said a couple of vehicles in the immediate area were towed to be searched for forensic evidence, and that they are looking for nearby surveillance cameras that might provide more clues.
“Everything is preliminary at this point,” said Small shortly after 6 p.m., “but we’ll try to find out exactly who committed this crime.”
A troubled location?
Police characterized the building as a restaurant; several onlookers described the structure in the rear as a speakeasy, for the local Jamaican immigrant population, with a history of violence, despite a small sign overhead forbidding guns and drugs.
The only external indicators of food service were a few grills in the parking lot, just steps away from the deceased, and a small red “open” sign that remained lit throughout the police investigation.
One woman, who only gave her name as Siona, hailed the restaurant for specializing in oxtail and jerk chicken, but deemed the site a nuisance where two of her family members had been killed. Tuesday’s scene was bringing back traumatic memories.
“It’s a lot of flashback going on right now,” she said. “It’s adding salt to the wound. It’s deja vu.”
Happening upon the scene was Dorothy Johnson-Speight, founder and executive director of Mothers in Charge, a Philadelphia-based group which provides counseling and support services for families of murder victims.
She lives in the area and was coincidentally en route to her office to prepare for a night meeting with detectives from the police department’s homicide unit.
“I saw the crime scene tape and thought, ‘Not again,'” said Johnson-Speight, who spent Monday consoling the family of murdered police Officer Moses Walker. “It’s continuous.”