Two tow company workers murdered within 24 hours

They worked for the same tow truck company in East Frankford and were murdered 24 hours apart, but a co-worker says that the fatal shootings of Eric Robinson last Thursday and Khayyan Fruster last Friday were unrelated.

“They’re two separate situations,” said an employee of A. Bob’s Towing who declined to give his name.

A Northeast Times reporter contacted the business by telephone yesterday, but the manager on duty was unavailable to talk. The towing service operates from 2220 Orthodox St. Police have not commented on any potential connection between the crimes.

Fruster, 28, was gunned down at about 8:15 p.m. Friday outside his home on the 6600 block of Hegerman St. in Tacony. Surveillance video of the ambush-style hit was broadcast by multiple local TV news stations. The nighttime footage shows Fruster entering the passenger side of a tow truck parked outside his house. As he does, an unknown assailant approaches him and squeezes off numerous shots before fleeing the scene.

Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters at the scene that at least five shots were fired from a semi-automatic pistol.

Fruster suffered a head wound. Police rushed him to Hahnemann University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:26 p.m. The 48-year-old driver of the tow truck suffered multiple wounds and was taken by police to Aria-Jefferson Health’s Torresdale campus, where he was admitted in critical condition. Police did not release the second victim’s identity.

Small said that one of the victims was also carrying a gun, but was unable to use it in his own defense. It was still holstered when police found him. Initially, Small said that two assailants may have been involved in the ambush, but a second perpetrator cannot be seen on the video. There have been no arrests. Police did not disclose suspect descriptions or a motive in the slaying.

Fruster’s friends told news reporters that he had just left home to start his nighttime shift with the tow company. He had two children, ages 8 and 11, and had worked for A. Bob’s Towing for more than four years. He was saving money to buy a home. They insisted that Fruster had no enemies.

Almost 24 hours earlier, another A. Bob’s employee lost his life in a similar hail of gunfire outside a bar and take-out store at Melrose and Orthodox streets, just one city block from the towing company’s yard and his own home.

Eric Robinson, 35, of the 2200 block of Orthodox St., was standing outside the business when a man approached him and opened fire, according to police, who said an argument motivated the violence. The reason for the dispute was not disclosed.

Small told reporters that Robinson was talking to a woman at the time and that the shooter exited the bar before he opened fire at point-blank range. The gunman fired at least seven rounds.

No arrests have been made. Police did not disclose a description of the shooter. ••