Northern Liberties shooting at Piazza raises safety concerns

Posted: June 13, 2012

Following a fatal shooting early Monday outside a popular bar and restaurant in Northern Liberties, a neighborhood group said it was planning to meet with city officials and police to talk about possible measures to increase public safety in the area.

Matt Ruben, president of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, said that members of his group were stunned by the shooting of an Upper Darby man after an altercation inside PYT at the Piazza at Schmidts shortly after midnight.

Maurice Kimble, 24, of South Fairview Road, was shot twice in the chest and once in the groin on North Hancock Street near the bar. He was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital and was pronounced dead at 2:40 a.m. No arrests were reported.

Party promoter Tommy Up, owner of PYT, did not respond to a request for comment. A manager at the restaurant said no one there would comment.

"This is a pretty safe neighborhood," Ruben said. "When there is violent crime, people are shocked by it."

He said residents wanted to know if the violence involved people who knew each other, or if it was random.

Ruben said neighbors suggested that off-duty police officers be hired to provide uniformed security around the Piazza.

"It's hard to think that would not have a subtle but very real deterrent effect," Ruben said.

In 2009, two people were killed in a drug-related shooting in one of the Piazza's residential buildings.

Contact Vernon Clark at 215-854-5717 or vclark@phillynews.com.

Inquirer staff writer Robert Moran contributed to this article.

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