Man arrested in killing of neighbor in dispute over dog waste

Neighbors look-on as police investigate a homicide along the 6500 block of Torresdale Ave, Tuesday Feb. 14, 2012, in northeast Philadelphia, after a neighbor shot and killed another neighbor following an argument over dog droppings. (For the Daily News/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
Neighbors look-on as police investigate a homicide along the 6500 block of Torresdale Ave, Tuesday Feb. 14, 2012, in northeast Philadelphia, after a neighbor shot and killed another neighbor following an argument over dog droppings. (For the Daily News/ Joseph Kaczmarek) (AP)
Posted: February 15, 2012

A 27-year-old man was arrested this morning and charged with shooting and killing a neighbor over dog droppings Tuesday afternoon in Tacony.

Police said Tyrirk Harris fired his 9mm pistol at least six times, killing Franklin Manuel Santana, 47.

Both men lived just doors apart on the 6500 block of Torresdale Avenue.

Neighbors said Harris allowed his Chihuahua and a German shepherd to defecate on lawns on the street and did not clean up after his pets.

Sometime after 4 p.m. Tuesday, Santana confronted Harris over the dog droppings, police said.

"I seen them arguing, then from there a little scuffle," said neighbor Miguel Rivera, 37, who was walking by at the time. "Then I heard the shots."

Santana fell wounded with mutiple gunshot wounds to the face and chest, police said. Medics pronounced him dead at the scene at 4:25 p.m.

"Any type of argument or fight that's gonna lead to gunfire is a terrible thing," Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said at the scene.

A red Valentine's heart decorated the door above where Santana fell mortally wounded, an eerie reminder of the loved ones left behind by the city's 48th homicide victim of the year.

Neighbors said he and his wife had recently moved onto the block and had a 2-month-old baby.

"I can't believe it," said neighbor Patricia Batista, 58, shaking her head. "To take somebody's life over that."

"It's kind of ridiculous that a person has to lose his life over a dog," Rivera said.

After the slaying, neighbors gathered on porches and in the street, looking on as investigators combed the scene.

Harris' girlfriend, tears streaming down her face, alternately knelt with her head against a wrought-iron railing and paced a neighbor's porch.

She declined to comment, but neighbors and police sources said Harris was a former school police officer.

He was charged with murder, firearms violations and possession of an instrument of crime. Harris was ordered held without bail at his arraignment this morning. His next court date was set for Feb. 29.

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