When Teary White heard someone died two stories below her apartment, she initially wanted more answers. After she found out who had died, she stood on the sidewalk with tears running down her cheeks.
“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it,” the 33-year-old Hartranft resident repeated. “She was a student studying Psychology, I think. I’m so upset about it, oh my God.”
White was referring to a shooting Monday morning, when Philadelphia Police reported that a 21-year-old woman had been found dead in her bedroom on Park Avenue near York Street. White declined to give the student’s name.
Medics pronounced the student dead at the scene at 12:49 a.m. Monday. Police added that a gun was recovered at the scene, and have not determined a suspect or motive.
Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone confirmed the victim was a Temple student, and added that preliminary investigations indicate “everything is linking itself to a self-inflicted gun wound.” He added, however, that police are still investigating the incident.
White—who said she is the only resident in the building who isn’t a Temple student—said she initially thought the shot fired was a firework.
“This building is so secure and quiet that you don’t always hear everything that’s going on that clearly,” she said.
White added that the shooting occurred on the first floor, two stories below the top level of the apartment, where she lives. She said police detectives interviewed her around 2 a.m., and that she hasn’t slept since.
Monday, police cars surrounded the northern end of Park Avenue near York Street and taped off the entrance of her building.
Several residents near the shooting’s location said they were unaware anything had happened—including junior marketing student Jack Huntsman.
“My roommates and I just saw a lot of commotion,” Huntsman said. “There were a ton of cop cars on the street and sidewalks in front of our apartment.”
Leone said the gun recovered at the scene may belong to the victim’s boyfriend, and police have questioned him about the shooting. He does not live in the building, Leone added.
Leone also said police have not identified the student, as she may have an “international connection,” which has delayed the process of notifying her family.
Tipsters should contact Philadelphia Police’s Homicide Detectives Unit at 215-686-3334 or 215-686-3335.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.