Police scour Lawncrest area where 2 men were found shot

Posted: April 20, 2014

LAWNCREST Investigators on Friday were combing the neighborhood where two men were found duct-taped and shot, one fatally, this week.

The shootings happened Thursday, with one man wounded in the head, chest, and a leg and pronounced dead before 6 p.m. on Newtown Avenue near Godfrey Avenue, and another shot in the back, an arm, and a leg taken to Einstein Medical Center.

Both had been tied up, with duct tape placed over their eyes and around their wrists. Multiple shell casings were found at the scene.

Authorities believe the victims were abducted, then dumped at the Newtown Avenue site, on a street littered with trash and abandoned furniture, with a rusted railroad bridge above. Homicide investigators were working Friday to determine where the two victims had been taken from, said Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman.

Investigators had yet to interview the wounded victim, who is recovering from surgery, Stanford said.

"They are hoping to talk with him soon to see what information he could provide," Stanford said.

Detectives returned to the scene Friday to search for surveillance video and to canvass neighbors, he said. Police are hoping someone might have heard or seen something on the residential block.

The area immediately surrounding the crime scene is industrial, with a handful of businesses operating nearby. But there are homes around the corner and a Veterans of Foreign Wars post nearby, and the area is a stone's throw from busy Rising Sun and Adams Avenues.

Investigators believe the victims were targeted, Stanford said.

"There's a backstory," he said. "Now what that backstory is - investigators are going to have to piece it together and uncover it."

Cheryl Preno said she was washing dishes Friday when she heard a commotion outside - helicopters hovering.

"I said, 'Oh, no, what now?' " said Preno, 55, who has lived on Weymouth Street, just down from Newtown, for nearly 20 years.

She has long worried about that stretch of Newtown, which isn't kept up well, she said.

"It's kind of asking for trouble," Preno said.

As in all city homicides, there is a $20,000 reward for information in the killing.

Police are asking tipsters to call the homicide unit at 215-686-3334.


mnewall@phillynews.com215-854-2759

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