Man: Catch my brother's shooter

Posted: November 22, 2011

JOE NEARY wants the man who shot his brother off the street.

"This can't happen to somebody else. It's too painful," Neary said of the ordeal that began for his family last Tuesday, when police say that a gunman accosted Kevin Neary, 29, outside his Northern Liberties apartment and shot him in the neck, possibly paralyzing him.

"It's such a senseless act," Joe Neary, 31, said. "Right now, I just don't have words for it."

He said that his brother's spinal column is so severely damaged, he may never be able to move his limbs again. Yesterday he underwent the first of many surgeries at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to remove loose bone fragments and to stabilize his neck, Joe Neary said.

Kevin Neary grew up in Chichester, Delaware County, but his brother said that he loved the city and had lived in Northern Liberties for the past four years. He was shot outside his apartment, on Bodine Street near Fairmount Avenue, as he headed home from a bar at the Piazza at Schmidts.

Kevin is a Penn grad who runs his own health-care recruiting business and works at Union Trust steak house in Center City.

As family and friends come to grips with the situation, U.S. marshals are offering a $2,500 reward for tips leading to the arrest of Christopher Easter, 20, who authorities believe is the shooter. Police said that Easter's last known address is on Poplar Street near 15th, in the Francisville section of North Philadelphia.

Tipsters are asked to call the U.S. marshals' 24-hour tip line at 1-866-865-TIPS (8477).

"Have the courage to come forward and let the police know," Joe Neary said. "Someone who's gonna do this can't be out there, because they could just as easily do this to someone else."

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