Cops: Bystander critical after Juniata Park fight escalates

Posted: August 12, 2014

NO ARGUMENT is worth shooting someone over.

But four punks apparently thought it was a good idea to settle their beef by using gunfire late Saturday and sent three uninvolved passers-by to the hospital in the process, according to police.

Last night, one of those victims, 25, was clinging to life at Temple University Hospital after one of the stray bullets struck him in the head.

Meanwhile, investigators were pursuing a warrant for one of the suspects, who has a prior arrest for murder, according to a police source.

The violent shooting took place about 11:45 p.m. on Tampa Street near Wyoming Avenue in Juniata Park, said Officer Jillian Russell, a police spokeswoman.

A man, 23, had been arguing in front of a house on that block with another man, although it was unclear what their dispute was about, Russell said. It was enough to anger the second man so much that he gathered three friends to cruise and seek revenge, she said.

Minutes later, the four pulled up to the block in a Chrysler 300 and began blasting.

Their intended target was struck twice in his left leg as he fled down an alley. His attackers pursued him and kept pumping rounds in his direction, Russell said.

But their shots missed, and instead struck two cars sitting in traffic a block away on Whitaker Avenue, Russell said.

In one car, a Nissan Altima, was the 25-year-old who was in critical condition at Temple. In the other, a Suzuki sedan, two back-seat passengers, a 44-year-old man and a 35-year-old man, were hit by gunfire.

The 44-year-old was shot in the neck and taken to Temple, where he was in stable condition. His buddy was grazed by a bullet on the right side of his face and was also in stable condition at Temple.

Three of the four victims - including the target, who was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center in stable condition - live near where the gunmen opened fire, Russell said.

In the wake of the shooting, multiple witnesses were questioned by detectives from East Division, Russell said.

Tipsters are asked to call 215-686-8477.

On Twitter: @Vellastrations

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