Philadelphia Police are still investigating the death of a 21-year-old female student that occurred Monday morning on Park Avenue near York Street.
Officer Leeloni Palmeiro, a police spokeswoman, said the case—which was treated as a suicide earlier in the week—has now been deemed “suspicious” by Philadelphia Police’s Homicide Unit. An investigation is ongoing, she said.
Police responded to a radio call from the block early Monday, and was alerted en route to the location that a shooting had occurred. When police arrived, they found the woman with a black semi-automatic handgun under her hand, Palmeiro said. Paramedics pronounced her dead in her bedroom about 12:35 a.m. Monday, Palmeiro added.
A bullet hole was found in the ceiling of the victim’s bedroom, and police recovered a shell casing at the scene, Palmeiro said.
Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said the investigation is still ongoing because of the language of the medical examiner’s report.
“The Medical Examiner did an autopsy, and based on the language of their report, [police] want to look into it as a homicide,” Leone said Friday.
Students who lived in the building said they didn’t know the woman well, but were still shocked when they learned of the news.
Nichole Feuillet, a senior biology major, said she wasn’t home when the incident occurred. When she returned, she said there was confusion between her and the police.
“I didn’t know her that well,” Feuillet said of the woman. “But I was also wondering at the time, ‘Why wouldn’t police tell me what was going on?”
Senior ceramics major Patrick Hargraves was in his apartment in the building when the incident occurred.
“I heard a lot of screaming, but I think that was after the fact,” Hargraves said of the shooting. “There were a bunch of people in her apartment at the time.”
“I’ve just been shocked, at first I didn’t know what happened,” he added. “It was crazy … she’s always been quiet, and kept to herself most of the time.”
Hargraves said two homicide detectives interviewed him about the incident this week. He was told they were investigating the case as a possible homicide because of the angle of the bullet that was fired.
Palmeiro said she didn’t have any information on the Homicide Unit’s investigation. A spokesman from the unit declined to comment on the case.
Tipsters should contact Philadelphia Police’s Homicide Unit at 215–686-3334 or -3335.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.