JOSEPH FLEMING, a decorated Korean War veteran who raised six children in Southwest Philadelphia, stayed in his neighborhood even after it took a turn for the worse — only to be gunned down at age 80 by a young thug who broke into his well-kept corner rowhouse to steal his laptop.
Wounded in the pelvis and the stomach in the May 17 home invasion and shooting, Fleming clung to life in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's Intensive Care Unit for 36 days before he succumbed to his injuries on Friday.
"He tried to hang in there for my mother. He really did. He was a fighter," Fleming's son, John Fleming, 46, said of his father as he stood outside his parents' house on Yocum Street near 66th, indicating the window that the two thugs who ultimately killed his father broke to get inside. "He didn't deserve this."