Police: Man evicted from homeless shelter shoots 2, 1 dead

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A man who had been evicted from a Philadelphia homeless shelter for being intoxicated fatally shot one employee and wounded another after returning for his belongings Sunday morning, authorities said.

The man, who had been evicted Friday night, got into an argument with an employee at Station House shelter in north Philadelphia, pulled a gun and opened fire, police said.

One employee, a man in his 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene and another, a 26-year-old man, was shot in the hip and taken to a hospital.

The gunman – wearing a green hoodie, a black skull cap and jeans – was last seen fleeing behind railroad tracks in the rear of the building. Investigators said the shooter had been identified by the surviving employee.

Capt. Anthony Ginaldi told WPVI-TV police are still searching for the 32-year-old gunman they consider armed and dangerous.

Former mayor W. Wilson Goode, whose SELF, Inc. organization runs the shelter, praised the two workers.

“I don’t think you could have found more dedicated employees, more concerned employees, more compassionate and passionate employees about what they do. They love their work and people who work with them love them,” said Goode, who served as Philadelphia mayor from 1984 to 1992.

Goode said security procedures would be assessed to ensure the safety of employees and residents.

Officials expressed shock as well as fears that the crime might deter people from entering shelters as frigid weather was poised to enter the region overnight.

“We’re very, very, very concerned; this is not something that happens in the city of Philadelphia’s shelters for people experiencing homelessness. It’s a very unusual situation,” Marie Nahikian, director of the city Office of Supportive Housing, told WPVI-TV.

Nahikian called assisting people who are on the street very difficult and “very complicated.”

“When you have to run a facility that has rules and you’re still loved by the residents here, it makes you a very special person,” she said.

Station House is described on the organization’s website as “an emergency shelter and after hour intake site providing client service case management, a computer lab, and residential services for 99 men.”

Mayor Jim Kenney called the shooting “a heartbreaking tragedy” and vowed the city’s full support for the shelter, its workers and their families, adding that officials will help with the security review.

Kenney also urged anyone in need of shelter services to continue to use them with a “code blue” alert slated overnight, which gives officials the power to bring in homeless people to shelters.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s