Police have been looking into a shooting and a robbery near campus. Just days after two gun-related crimes struck the area around Penn's campus, University Police detectives have significantly narrowed the list of suspects in each case -- and police officials say the resolution of both cases may be imminent. The two incidents -- an off-campus shooting on the 3800 block of Market Street and an armed robbery at Eat at Joe's Express, located inside the Moravian CafZs food court on the 3400 block of Walnut Street -- occurred only hours apart from one another during the late night and early morning hours of last Friday and Saturday. According to University Police Chief Maureen Rush, other law enforcement agencies have been brought in to help work on the cases because firearms were involved. "We have the lead on the investigations and we are working with [Philadelphia Police Department's] Southwest Detectives," Rush said. "We're also working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms regarding the issue of the guns." In the first incident, two men were shot early Saturday morning while riding in a car in a parking lot at the intersection of 38th and Market streets. Witnesses reported seeing a group of five men in dark clothing fleeing the scene shortly afterwards. Rush said the investigation has already yielded a potential suspect in this case, though closing the book on the matter may not do much to prevent future incidents of the type. "Unfortunately, this was a random act," Rush said. "The people involved -- the perpetrators and the victims -- were known to each other. These are the kinds of crimes that, no matter what you do, you can't prevent from happening." Police and officials from the Penn-owned Presbyterian Hospital, home of the parking lot where the shooting occurred, are taking steps to increase security in the area where the shooting took place. "We immediately got in touch with the hospital, as [the shooting] was in their parking lot, and they're now limiting the parking to Penn affiliates, which will effectively close that lot during the evening hours and secure the lot so that people cannot just drive up and park there," Rush said. And although police say they are confident that this case can soon be closed, Rush said bringing the alleged assailant to trial may be complicated by his relationship to the victims. "There will definitely be some resolution," Rush said. She added, however, that judicial prosecution may be hampered "because of the fact that these are people who are known to each other and there might have been other issues surrounding the event, there might not be ample cooperation to bring this to a full courtroom adjudication." The second investigation, surrounding the armed robbery of Eat at Joe's Express at about 10 p.m. last Friday evening, is also making progress. According to University Police, two Eat at Joe's employees were confronted at a rear service entrance by a pair of men in ski masks, one of whom carried a gun. The assailants made off with over $1,600 from the establishment. Rush said they have identified "a possible suspect or suspects." "We are not just centering our attentions on an outside perpetrator," Rush said. "We are looking broadly at who the perpetrators may be, though there has been no zeroing in on a particular person." She added that a full arrest and trial process in this matter may also be made difficult by certain complications. "We again expect to have an adjudication one way or another," Rush said. "It may not be a courtroom situation, but there will be a resolution." She added that the crimes could eventually be considered solved without the full prosecution of suspects. That would likely occur should witnesses prove uncooperative or victims refuse to press charges. The two incidents came less than a week after a man was shot in the stomach while standing outside the Pegasus Club at 3801 Chestnut Street. That early morning shooting is being investigated by Philadelphia Police detectives. Rush said that the three incidents were "absolutely not related."Comments powered by Disqus
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