Recent shooting discussed at Fox Chase civic meeting

Captain Michael Gormley said officers from the 7th and 2nd police districts will be keeping a close eye on the site, though he believes it is an isolated incident.

PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Residents of Fox Chase learned more about an alarming shooting that occurred on a typically quiet street near a public grade school on May 1.

At the request of the Fox Chase Homeowners Association and Fox Chase Town Watch, Capt. Michael Gormley discussed the circumstances of the gunfire during a monthly community meeting on May 10 at American Legion Post 366.

“It’s an isolated incident but I think a lot of people were concerned,” said Gormley, commander of the 7th district. “It’s a nice neighborhood, so this is alarming. But I don’t think this was a random act. It was targeted.”

As previously reported by the Northeast Times, it happened at about 2 a.m. on the 8000 block of Halstead Street, just north of Rhawn Street, less than a block from the Fox Chase Elementary School yard. A 26-year-old man suffered a leg wound. Police made one arrest. Authorities have not released the names of those involved.

According to Gormley, police believe the 26-year-old exited a nearby apartment complex and walked to his car with a friend when two unidentified men approached them with guns. The friend also had a gun.

During an exchange of gunfire, the 26-year-old suffered a leg wound. It was not life threatening. The friend ran into the apartment building, while the two unidentified assailants fled.

Witnesses directed police to the apartment building, where the officers arrested the friend, a South Philadelphia man who was not licensed to carry a gun. Police don’t think the wounded man lived at the apartment building either — he was just visiting — but police have received complaints about drug trafficking there recently, Gormley said. They are investigating the possibility that drugs were a factor in the shooting.

Meanwhile, neighbors have been asking questions about what’s going on in and around the property at 714–18 Rhawn St. The owner is 1260 Housing Development Corp. and the manager is Columbus Property Management.

“We’re going to meet with the manager shortly,” said Steve Phillips, president of Fox Chase Town Watch. “I think we have a right to know what’s going on in the building. The school butts right up to their property.”

Officers from the 7th and 2nd police districts will be keeping a close eye on the site, Gormley said. Rhawn Street is the border between the patrol districts. The apartments are on the 2nd district side.

“But we’re limited what we can do inside” the buildings, Gormley said.

The management company plans to increase patrols of the property with its private security company.

“They’re not going to allow it to happen on their property. They want to be a good neighbor,” said a police officer who asked his identity not be published because he works undercover.

The community groups discussed other topics during Wednesday’s meeting:

• The 2nd Police District Advisory Council will host a Bike Ride for Peace on Sept. 16 in Fox Chase. The event will start at 9 a.m. at Fox Chase Elementary School, Rhawn and Halstead streets. It will be a leisurely ride with police, school children, community leaders and residents. There will be raffles with bicycles and accessories as prizes. The PDAC has been organizing the ride at various locations for 12 years.

• The 7th Police District will host Coffee With a Cop on May 22 from 10 a.m. to noon at Dunkin Donuts, 9834 Bustleton Ave. This is an opportunity for residents and other community people to speak one-on-one and discreetly with police about specific crime and quality of life problems in their neighborhoods. ••

William Kenny can be reached at 215–354–3031 or wkenny@bsmphilly.com. Follow the Times on Twitter @NETimesOfficial.