Thursday, August 31, 2006

Northeast Times: Shooting Thursday to Sunday

Northeast Times recounts violent weekend.

Four men were wounded and another arrested on drug-dealing charges in four Northeast Philadelphia shootings over a 61-hour span last weekend.

The latest incident occurred at 11 a.m. on Sunday at the Roosevelt Inn, 7600 Roosevelt Blvd., said Philadelphia police Capt. Jack McGinnis of Northeast Detectives.

Witnesses reported hearing shots fired in a rear parking lot near Leonard Street. When police arrived, they spotted one alleged gunman, identified as Shawn Butler, 32, of the 1600 block of Butler St. in Nicetown, with a graze wound of the hand.

He was treated at the scene and taken to Northeast Detectives for questioning, then transported to Frankford Hospital’s Frankford Division when he complained of continued discomfort, McGinnis said.

Police believe that Butler was one of two men involved. The second male fled in a car, witnesses said.

Butler was charged with violations of the Uniform Firearms Act and related crimes. But he wasn’t the only person to end up in jail.

As police arrived at the motel, they also saw a 1990 Mercury Marquis zoom from the shooting scene. Officers stopped the car for traffic violations and allegedly found three pounds of marijuana inside.

The driver, Anthony Pygatt, 27, of the 5800 block of Oxford Ave., was charged with felony drug possession with intent to deliver. A female passenger was not charged. Both had been motel guests, police believe.

Investigators have not linked Pygatt to the shooting.

Early on Sunday morning, a Crescentville man was wounded critically in the chest at a karaoke bar in his neighborhood. At about 12:45 a.m., Thomas Vu, 27, of the 5800 block of Weymouth St., was attacked inside Ledo By Night Club at 701 Adams Ave.

Detectives believe that Vu was in the club with some friends that night and that there had been an earlier fight in the nightspot. Witnesses told police that Vu walked alone toward a bathroom area of the club and returned to his friends, bleeding from the chest.

Then someone smashed a bottle over Vu’s head before he collapsed to the floor.

No witnesses reported hearing any gunshots, but about 30 patrons fled the club when the attack occurred, McGinnis said.

City medics took Vu to Albert Einstein University Hospital in critical condition. He remained there as the Times went to press this week.

An early Saturday morning shooting also resulted in a critically wounded man, although police are still trying to verify his personal information.

The incident occurred at about 3:50 a.m. The victim reportedly claimed that he and a friend were walking near Castor and Magee avenues when an unknown male pulled a gun on them and fired, striking one of them in the chest.

Another friend drove the victim to Frankford Hospital’s Torresdale Campus, where he was admitted in critical condition. He remained hospitalized as the Times went to press.

The victim has been identified as Miguel Torrez, who is in his 20s and may be living on the 1400 block of Fanshawe St.

There have been no arrests in the case. The investigation is continuing.

A fourth man was wounded on Thursday at about 10:18 p.m. when he got caught in the crossfire of a shootout in East Frankford, McGinnis said.

The victim was talking to friends outside of Kappy’s Bar, at 1950 Bridge St., when a group of males began firing at them from up the block. Others outside of the bar may have returned fire, detectives believe.

Joseph Williams, 27, of the 1000 block of S. Fourth St., suffered a non-life threatening wound of the calf. A friend drove him to Frankford Hospital’s Frankford Division, where he was listed in good condition.

Investigators found numerous shell casings at the scene. They are searching for the gunmen.

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