Man, 21, shot dead on South Street was 'taken way too soon'

PHOTO: FACEBOOK Demetry Presley: Victim of South Street shooting.
PHOTO: FACEBOOK Demetry Presley: Victim of South Street shooting.
Posted: November 20, 2013

DEMETRY PRESLEY hadn't even been 21 for half a year when a hail of bullets cut his young life short outside a nightclub on South Street this weekend.

"Blessed to see another year. 21 now. Feeling good," the young man, of Sicklerville, N.J., posted on his Facebook page in June.

Police say Presley died after he was shot several times in the head and chest on South Street near 2nd in the wee hours of the morning Sunday, after a brawl that started inside a club spilled onto the street. Suspected in the killing is Lance Smith, 24, of Willingboro, N.J., who was arrested soon after.

Smith, court records show, was arrested for DUI and resisting arrest in Philadelphia in 2011, and a police source said that arrest also occurred on South Street. Those charges, according to court documents, were eventually tossed, but it's unclear why.

Cops were called to the Mixed Plate, a restaurant-turned-weekend nightclub, for a fight inside about 1:30 a.m. When the brawl spilled outside, gunfire erupted, leaving Presley dying on the pavement. He was rushed to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he died about 16 hours later.

Police arrested Smith not far from the scene. A source said cops also recovered a gun they believe was used to shoot Presley. It wasn't clear yesterday why Presley was targeted or what sparked the initial fight.

Smith, who also goes by the alias Aaron Howard, was awaiting arraignment last night on charges that include murder and aggravated assault.

Presley's friends took to Facebook yesterday to express condolences to the young man's relatives. A woman who identified herself as Presley's sister posted a photo of him grinning and wearing Wayfarer-style sunglasses.

The sister did not return a request for comment last night from the Daily News.

"He was only 21," she wrote on her Facebook page under her brother's picture. "His life was taken way too soon."


On Twitter: @morganzalot

Blog: PhillyConfidential.com

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