South Philly block mourns death of man shot by off-duty officer

    DA charges off-duty cop with murder

    Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is charging a city police officer with murder. The officer is accused of shooting a young South Philadelphia man Sunday when he was off duty. The killing has left a tiny, tight-knit block emotionally shattered.

    The 1800 block of Hoffman Street was full of the playful sound of a water gun fight just hours ago. Now it is full of grieving.

    “Took my son for no reason. It wasn’t right, it wasn’t right he took him like that. It doesn’t make sense you know it didn’t make sense why he did what he did,” said Diane Williams

    Williams is standing in front of her house where a small memorial is growing for her son, Howard Williams.

    Friends and family members say Williams’ son was murdered by an off-duty police officer named Rudolph Gary, who was also his brother in law.

    Shanea Williams lost her brother, who was shot by her ex-husband.
    Shanea Williams lost her brother, who was shot by her ex-husband.

    Relatives say neighbors were cooling off with a big water gun fight when the officer stopped by to pick up his 8 year old son. They say when the officer’s current girlfriend was hit with some water, he got his gun and killed Howard Williams…who they say was trying to keep the peace.

    The deceased man’s sister, Shanea Williams says she’s in the process of divorcing the officer–who’s now accused of killing her brother.

    “He’s not getting away with this, he’s not, he’s not… He’s just a loose cannon who feel like because he’s a cop he can do what he want.”

    Nearby her boyfriend says once Gary became a police officer, he tried to start fights and he bragged about being a member of the Police Department.

    Family members aren’t the only ones on the block still reeling from the fatal weekend.

    A few houses down the street, Debbie Mincon is sitting on her steps nursing a cup of tea.

    “My son watched his friend dying in the street.”

    Mincon says she rushed outside when she heard the gunshots because her 19 year old son was out there. She says her son was friends with Howard Williams since they were babies.

    “It’s your usual city block you have your problems. There’s a lot of young kids around here, they don’t bother nobody. Everybody’s trying to live, survive in this city and…I don’t know, I don’t know. It happens all around us but the kids that live around us. they’re not violent gang kids. they live up here. They were having fun. I don’t know…”

    Mincon gets a far away look in her eye and grows silent.

    Diane Williams says just because Rudolph Gary is a police officer, doesn’t mean he should get special treatment.

    The District Attorney’s office is investigating the case. The Fraternal Order of Police did not return calls for comment.

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