Copabanana returns to usual business after Tuesday's shooting


Penn students near the scene of the incident react with fear, caution




Both Copabanana and Penn students are continuing to regroup after a fatal shooting last night at 40th and Spruce streets.

An unaffiliated 31-year-old m ale, who the Philadelphia Inquirer reported was Timothy Cary, was shot multiple times at point-blank range just outside of Copabanana at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Cary was declared dead at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania at 1:43 a.m. Cory Gaynor, a 26-year-old male, was charged with Cary’s murder late Tuesday afternoon.

Copabanana remains mostly unaffected by the events of last night. It was open for normal business hours on Tuesday. Copabanana owner Brian Phillips said that while he was not on the premises last night when the shooting occurred, the restaurant has not felt unsafe in the neighborhood.

This is the first time, though, that an incident has “touched so close to home,” he said.

“[The shooting] is a shock, and we’re deeply saddened,” he said, adding that there was nothing Copabanana could have done to prevent it.

Phillips said Copabanana would work with University City District Police, Philadelphia Police and Penn Police in the ongoing investigation of last night’s events. Copabanana may evaluate its policies based on information gathered from that investigation, but Phillips said it was still too premature to say what changes, if any, would come as a result.

While no Penn students were inside the bar at the time of shooting, many undergraduates live nearby and students frequently walk past the intersection.

Wharton senior Tiki Mpofu was at the intersection around 1:25 a.m., heading north on 40th Street, when he “heard what sounded like fireworks or gunshots going off.”

He assumed they were fireworks until he looked back toward Copabanana and heard screams. He took cover behind the School of Dental Medicine building and waited there until he saw police cars arrive at the scene.

Once the police were there, “I reasoned it was safe enough to keep walking,” Mpofu said.

There are many off-campus student residences in the area of 40th and Spruce, and while many could hear the gunshots, others could clearly hear the screams from their homes.

College junior Ariel Breton, who lives on the 3900 block of Pine, heard four gunshots, then voices.

“I heard a guy’s voice yelling ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe!’” Breton said. “And then I heard a girl’s voice that kept yelling ‘Oh my God!’ and then she just started yelling and crying and I couldn’t tell what she was saying.”

The alleged shooter ran down Pine after the incident, and Breton and her housemates watched Penn Police officers capture him and take him away in a police car.

College sophomore Ariel Fieldman heard several gunshots from the first floor window of her house on South 40th Street, right across from Copabanana.

Fieldman added that the police showed up within about five minutes, and that the fast response was “comforting.”

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