Protestors call for action in Port Richmond shooting

    More than a hundred people marched around Philadelphia City Hall Friday. The marchers called on city officials to put a former city police officer behind bars.

    More than a hundred people marched around Philadelphia City Hall Friday. The marchers called on city officials to put a former city police officer behind bars.

    Billy Panas Jr.’s family, friends, and neighbors waved signs and chanted.

    The 21-year-old was shot and killed during a neighborhood scuffle in Port Richmond a few days before Thanksgiving. It happened just steps from the front door of the man now accused of shooting him – former Philadelphia Police Officer Frank Tepper.

    Panas’ family and supporters have marched before, but this time they say they are taking their fight directly to city officials.

    Billy Panas’ grandmother Roberta Detro had a message for the newly elected District Attorney, Seth Williams.

    Panas: I want him in jail. He shot an unarmed kid and that’s all I want. Maybe it’ll help a little bit. I don’t know.

    Officer Tepper has been fired, and a grand jury is looking into the case. A spokesperson for Williams says the D.A. is conducting his own investigation.

    Fortunato Perri Jr., Tepper’s lawyer, could not be reached for comment but in a recent interview with WHYY, Perri said “this entire situation while tragic appears from all facts and circumstances to have been a justified action under the circumstances.”

    Panas’ grandmother, Roberta Detro, says the fact that Tepper isn’t behind bars makes it even harder to deal with the loss of her grandson.

    Detro: If I would have shot someone they would have had me in jail. i have a family of cops. we have 5 people in our family that are police officers and I respect them a lot. But I don’t respect him.

    Don Scanell was Billy’s friend for 10 years.

    Scanell: Nothing’s going to bring him back. But this is good. It shows real strong community. It’s good people come out and show how much they care.

    Scanell says he and Billy probably would have watched the SuperBowl together on Sunday.

    At the rally Billy’s father, William Panas Sr., wore a Colts jersey — No. 21.

    “Number 21 was my son’s age and he was a diehard Colts fan.”

    Panas says it’ll be rough to watch the Colts play.

    “My wife would prefer them to lose because Billy’s not here to watch it.”

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