Police investigating shooting west of Main Campus

Temple Police are investigating a shooting on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 16th Street that happened shortly before midnight Saturday.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said two Temple Police officers were patrolling about half a block away when they heard what sounded like gunshots. Once they arrived at the location of the shooting, they found five shell casings and discovered two separate car windows struck by a bullet, he added.

Leone said one 16-year-old male wearing a denim jacket with a patch on the back “might have been involved,” but no other information was reported to police.

“No one would say what happened, so we don’t know if there was an argument out there or something,” Leone said. “But nobody was hit by the bullets.”

A TU Alert was sent out about the incident at around midnight Saturday. No injuries were reported.

One student, freshman business major Joe Babar, said he was out walking close the area where the shots were fired.

I thought it was crazy because it was the first gun shots I’ve ever heard,” Babar said. “Everybody near the shooting was running in the complete opposite way, toward the 7-Eleven [on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 15th Street]. I was kind of in shock, it didn’t hit me until later where I was like, ‘Wow, I just heard gun shots.'”

Another student, freshman geology major Dillion Riley, said despite the gunshots, nobody was nervous immediately afterward.

“I didn’t really feel anything, I just went out to go check it out,” Riley said. “They blocked it off and all of the drunk kids were trying to get around it. Nobody was scared, everybody was just drunk trying to get to their house.”

Steve Bohnel and Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at news@temple-news.com or on Twitter @TheTempleNews.

Suspect arrested for murder of student

A Camden man sought in connection with the Jan. 24 murder of a Temple student turned himself in to police Friday, according to a press release.

Leonaldo Rivera, 25, of the 200 block of Erie Street in Camden, New Jersey, is charged with murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm in the shooting of Alejandro Rojas-Garcia in the Feltonville neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Rojas-Garcia, 34, was driving down the 4200 block of Macalester Street in his Chevrolet Trailblazer when a suspect fired at his car, killing him and wounding a passenger, police said.

Two weeks after the shooting, Rojas-Garcia’s family held a vigil on that block, where they discussed peaceful methods of resolving conflict and the life of the advertising major and father of two who was also called “Alex” and “Luchi.”

Alex’s mother, Aleida Garcia, said she had been calm at the funeral but the vigil changed her mood.

“I am committed to finding justice for my son, for that person who pulled a gun on my son,” Garcia said. “I give you my word here today, standing in front of the place that my son died, that I am committed to justice. And I want you all to be with me.”

Rivera was arraigned Friday when he turned himself in, and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 18.

Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@temple.edu or on Twitter @JBrandt_TU.

Kim Jones murder case moves to trial

Randolph Sanders, the 36-year-old charged with murder in the case of Kim Jones, waived his preliminary hearing in Common Pleas court this morning. His trial will be held on March 11.

Sanders will be held on all charges including murder, firearms carried without a license, carrying firearms in public and possession of an instrument of crime with intent.

Jones, 56, was waiting for the No. 23 SEPTA bus on the morning of Jan. 13 at the corner of 12th and Jefferson streets when Sanders allegedly shot her in the back of the head, police previously told The Temple News.

“It’s pretty clear that he planned it, and he prepared for it and he perpetrated a violent killing and I think his waiver demonstrates that there is evidence – the defense agrees that there’s evidence to go forward to a trial,” said Prosecutor Mark Levenberg.

Police spokeswoman Tanya Little told The Temple News that Sanders believed Jones was going to report him for misappropriating about $40,000 in funds from the Families and Schools Together Program of Turning Points for Children – an organization devoted to assisting abused and economically disadvantaged children, where they both worked.

“This is a horrible case because an innocent woman is dead,” said Defense Attorney Michael Coard. “Just because I’m the attorney for an accused, that doesn’t lessen the fact that a wonderful, great woman – that nobody had anything bad to say about at any point, so clearly an innocent victim – so I think first and foremost, my condolences and the condolences of all of us should go to them and then secondarily, we deal with the legal issues.”

Patricia Madej can be reached at patricia.madej@temple.edu or on Twitter @PatriciaMadej.

State trooper charged in shooting of Temple grad and colleague

A state trooper was charged with five counts of reckless endangerment on Tuesday for his fatal shooting of a colleague who was a Temple and Roman Catholic high school graduate, the Inquirer reported.

Corporal Richard Schroeter, who was training five new state troopers at the Public Safety Training Campus on Sept. 30, was explaining trigger mechanics when he pulled the trigger of his duty-issued firearm. The shot struck Officer David Kedra in the abdomen.

Kedra’s older brother, Kevin, said Tuesday that the family is unsatisfied with the charges and is arranging a statement to be released to the media and governor.

The shooting occurred three weeks after Eric Frein had fatally shot one trooper and seriously injured another in Pike County. By Sept. 30, hundreds of officers were searching the Poconos for Frein.

After the investigation of Schroeter’s case – which spanned several months following Kedra’s shooting – a grand jury in Norristown concluded there was only probable cause to charge Schroeter with reckless endangerment, who also faced possible charges of homicide and involuntary manslaughter.

Schroeter is facing a maximum of 5 to 10 years in prison if he is convicted of all five reckless endangerment charges. He waived his preliminary hearing, and bail was set at $50,000.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@temple.edu or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.

Shooting close to campus tests new CSS communications policy

By Sarai Flores

The scene of the shooting, 2036 N. Carlisle St.,which left two men in the hospital.

The scene of the shooting, 2036 N. Carlisle St.,which left two men in the hospital. | SARAI FLORES TTN

Philadelphia police responded to a shooting outside an apartment building less than a block off Main Campus Tuesday evening, which left two non-Temple-affiliated males in the hospital.

A 22-year-old male was found lying in the foyer of an apartment at 2036 N. Carlisle St. with a gunshot wound to his chest and was taken to Temple University Hospital in critical condition. Temple police said the man was visiting from New York.

A police spokesperson said that while officers were at the scene, they noticed a male driving away in a van. After briefly pursuing the vehicle, police reported that it crashed into a wall on North College Ave., near Girard College. The 19-year-old male driver was transported to Hahnemann University Hospital with injuries related to the incident.

The 19-year-old male’s involvement in the shooting is still being investigated and he had not been formally charged as of Wednesday night.

According to police, the 22-year-old male was in critical condition as of Wednesday and had yet to be questioned. No charges have been made to anyone involved in the shooting and police said they believe there were several males involved in the shooting.

Although the incident occurred around 9:38 p.m., Temple students were issued a TU Alert at 11 p.m. that night.

“The problem was we had a problem with our computer dispatching system,” said Charlie Leone, executive director of campus safety services.“It went down and so we didn’t get the information right away but Philly [police] was there very fast.”

The shooting came four months after a March 21 incident just off Main Campus where a female student was attacked and hit in the face with a brick by a group of teenage girls. Many students criticized the university for not immediately notifying them of the incident.

University officials initially said the incident wasn’t reported because it was off-campus, therefore not in their jurisdiction, and they weren’t notified about it by Philadelphia police until hours after. Leone said Tuesday’s incident showed a reformed communication policy since the attacks in March.

“Talking with the student population… they wanted more information. So we saw something like this and we wanted to make sure we had put the information out so they know what happened,” Leone said. “We’re trying to do better and we’re trying to improve.”

However, Inella Ray, a senior economics major, believes Temple police still have room to improve with communicating.

“I guess I come from a biased point of view because I grew up in the inner city, but I don’t rely on Temple police for safety,” Ray said. “I don’t think Temple police do a good enough of a job. We end up finding out about stuff very late. They need to do a better job communicating.”

Temple police have stated that they are continuing to heavily patrol the area.

Sarai Flores can be reached at sarai.abisag.flores@temple.edu or on Twitter @saraiaflores.

Shots fired on 17th and Oxford

Multiple shots were fired on the corner of 17th and Oxford streets today, Nov. 7 around 2:15 p.m., Campus police confirmed.

Philadelphia police responded to and investigated the scene, however units on the scene were not allowed to release updates and Philly police media affairs had not received any updates as of 5:30 p.m.

Acting Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said CSS is still receiving updates and are not actively investigating the incident. There were no reports of injuries.

Police presence on the scene had largely died down by around 3:30 p.m. when officers opened the 1500 block of 17th Street to traffic. Several officers remained walking in and out of one house near the corner that was cordoned off with police tape.

Multiple students and residents of the area reported hearing multiple shots fired sometime after 2 p.m., though reports on the exact number varied.

Brian Hong, a senior risk management major who lives across from the cordoned off house, said he was sitting inside and heard multiple shots coming from the street. Hong said a similar incident happened to him two years ago when he was living on Gratz Street.

“It’s pretty common now I guess,” he said.

Officer shot near Broad and Poplar streets

The weapon used to shoot a SWAT officer in the chest at around 10 p.m. lies between two yellow markers near an officer’s feet at BP gas station, near Broad and Poplar. The city SWAT officer, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, is now in a stable condition at Hahnemann University Hospital. Three suspects have been taken into custody.

Off-campus shooting leaves student in the hospital

One student is in the hospital and one suspect is in custody after a shooting early Sunday morning.

According to a TU Advisory sent out at 5:29 a.m., the student was shot at about 3:30 a.m. on the 1900 block of Gratz Street. The student was taken to Temple Hospital and is expected to be released.

Anyone with information should call the Philadelphia Police Department at 215-686-3093.

Shots fired west of Main Campus

A 19-year-old man is in the hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to the head west of Main Campus late Wednesday night, police said.

Deputy Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said that at 11:20 p.m., the man, who is not affiliated with Temple, was shot in the head on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 17th Street. Leone said that Philadelphia Police took the victim to Temple Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

The suspect is described as a black man wearing a black hoody, white t-shirt, blue jeans and a green hat. He was last seen heading south on Bouvier Street from Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

Suspect shot by police after gunfire erupts overnight

Police shot a man who fired at Philadelphia and Temple Police officers overnight, according to a TU Advisory sent out by the university.

The advisory email, which was sent at about 6:40 a.m. Tuesday morning, said that the incident started after an motor vehicle accident near Ninth and Norris streets overnight. One of the vehicles fled the scene and, after hearing gunfire from the area, Allied Barton security officers called for police units to respond.

Philadelphia and Temple Police officers responded and were fired upon by the suspect. Philadelphia Police chased the man into the Norris Homes community, according to the advisory, where he allegedly fired at police, who subsequently shot and disabled the suspect.

The suspect is currently being treated at Temple Hospital.

Check back with The Temple News later for more on this incident.