West Philly High student acquitted of classmate’s murder

Posted on 23 February 2017 by Mike Lyons

A former West Philly High School student was found not guilty on Wednesday of the murder of a classmate near the 46th Street El stop in January 2015.

Xavier Beemon, who was 14 at the time, admitted to stabbing Nafis O’Neal, also 14, with a pocketknife during an after-school altercation, but said it was self defense. A jury agreed and after seven hours of deliberation acquitted Beemon on all charges, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer

Beemon was considerably smaller than O’Neal, who was a popular basketball and football player, according to testimony. Beemon, who moved to West Philly from Alabama in 2011, said he was so fearful of life in Philadelphia that he began hiding a pocketknife near school that he would carry home for protection. O’Neal approached Beemon after school and a scuffle ensued. Beemon said he swung the knife around and stabbed O’Neal once in the chest.

O’Neal was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I didn’t aim at his chest,” The Inquirer reported Beemon saying during testimony. “I just swung and it happened I hit his chest.”

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Longtime Powelton resident and green space advocate Winnie Harris, 65, found shot to death

Posted on 06 February 2017 by Mike Lyons

The last time we spoke with Winnie Harris was last summer, when she was rallying support for the Holly Street Neighbors Community Garden. The garden, built on a vacant lot, was just down the street from her Holly Street home in West Powelton, where she had lived for 40 years. Gardens, trees and keeping this part of West Philadelphia green was her passion and, as one of the driving forces behind UC Green, her occupation.

Harris, 65, was found dead in her home on the 300 block of North Holly Street late Friday with a single gunshot wound in the abdomen. No arrests have been made, and the police say the motive is unclear. Neighbors on her block noticed Friday that Harris’s second floor window was open. Police found her in a second floor bedroom. Harris lived alone in the house.  Continue Reading

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High number of gunpoint robberies reported in University City; UCD issues special crime alert

Posted on 31 January 2017 by

The University City District has issued a special crime alert for the area residents due to a high number of armed robberies reported in the western edge of the neighborhood in the past 10 days. Ten robberies with a gun have been reported since Saturday, Jan. 21, mostly occurring between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. in the areas between Chester Avenue and Pine Street and 47th and 49th.

Here are dates, times, locations and some more details for robberies reported in the past week (via Spot Crime):

− Jan. 27, 8:28 p.m. – 4800 block of Sansom St.
− Jan. 27, 9:06 p.m. – 800 block of S. 49th St.
− Jan. 28, 8:14 a.m. – 900 block of S. 46th St.
− Jan. 28, 9:11 p.m. – S. 49th St. and Springfield Ave. A wallet, iPhone, and headphones were taken in this robbery. Suspects are described as three black males 18-21 years old, wearing jackets and jeans.  Continue Reading

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Man dies after being shot near 46th and Walnut; more shooting reports in West Philadelphia

Posted on 23 January 2017 by

A 35-year-old man died after being shot outside of a bar at 46th and Walnut, according to police. The man was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound shortly before 2 a.m. on Monday in South Philadelphia. His friends drove him to a relative’s home while he was still alive not realizing he had been shot, according to a report by 6ABC News. The victim was taken to Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:10 a.m. Police believe the man was shot somewhere near the bar at 46th and Walnut.

So far there have been no arrests and there are no suspects. The investigation continues.

Unfortunately, this was the third shooting in the area in less than a week. One resulted in another fatality.

A 38-year-old man was shot on the 5100 block of Irving Street on Tuesday, Jan. 17. He was found unresponsive on the sidewalk at about 6:30 p.m. by two police officers who were in the area and heard the gunshots. The victim was shot twice, in the head and neck. He was transported to Penn-Presbyterian medical Center by police and was listed in extremely critical condition. He died of his wounds on Wednesday, according to reports.  Continue Reading

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Series of armed robberies reported in Spruce Hill, Garden Court (Update: Suspect arrested)

Posted on 17 January 2017 by

UPDATE (Thursday, Jan. 19): A suspect was detained Tuesday near 40th and Walnut, according to police. At approximately 11 a.m., one of the robbery victims observed a male in the area who he recognized as the male who had robbed him earlier that morning. He called 911, and the male was stopped by responding officers and positively identified by the victim. The male was later identified as 56-year-old Larry Brown. He was arrested and charged with robbery, terroristic threats and related offenses.

Police are investigating a series of gunpoint robberies that took place between 8:30 p.m. on Monday and 7:05 a.m. on Tuesday between 43rd and 47th Streets and Spruce St. and Cedar Ave. A total of four robberies were reported, and police believe they were committed by the same suspect, described as a black male, about 5 feet, 6 inches, with a thin build and a beard, wearing a maroon hooded sweatshirt, shorts, and spandex tights.

The first robbery took place in Garden Court at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday when a 38-year-old woman was approached by an unknown male on Pine St. between 46th and 47th. The man showed the woman a gun and demanded her purse which contained her cell phone, debit/credit cards, checkbook and cash. The man also indecently assaulted the woman before fleeing in an unknown direction, according to a police report.

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Teen fatally shot on 200 block of N. 52nd St (updated)

Posted on 16 January 2017 by

UPDATE (1/17/2017): Police have recovered surveillance video from inside the store. The video shows an unknown black male wearing a green hooded jacket entering the store, pulling out a handgun and directing the victim, 16-year-old Sean D-Jones, to the floor. After several minutes talking on a cell phone, with Jones still on the floor, the suspect shot him one time in the head, according to a police report. After shooting Jones, the suspect calmly walked out of the building and headed north on N. 52nd Street towards Haverford Ave. The victim’s father was in the back of the storefront residence during the shooting. He heard a “thump” and minutes later discovered his son bleeding on the floor, according to the report.

Police are searching for the gunman who shot and killed a 16-year-old youth on Sunday afternoon in West Philadelphia.

The victim, identified as Sean-D Jones, was inside his father’s store, Gary Global Links Video Productions, located on the 200 block of N. 52nd Street, when someone entered the store and shot him once in the head shortly after 12 p.m., according to police. The teen was critically injured and died at a local hospital a short time later, according to reports. So far no arrests have been made.

Jones and his older brother recently immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica, according to reports. 6ABC spoke to Jones’ brother, Shaquille Jones.


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