Student injured after fight at local club turns into shootout

Students, witnesses describe scene where police found 29 shell casings.

A stray bullet grazed a Temple student and another man was injured from a shootout between five men outside of a club near Main Campus early Sunday morning, including four security guards at the club.

Police said the incident occurred around 2 a.m. on Feb. 23 outside of The Let Out, located on the corner of Cecil B. Moore Avenue and Willington Street.

A Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson said the incident stemmed from a fight inside the club after a man was removed from the building then returned with a firearm.

In total, police investigators found 29 shell casings around the scene and one bullet two blocks away near Cecil B. Moore Avenue and 15th Street, where a Temple student was hit.

The owner of the Let Out, Odi Obilo, said they were closing the venue when the shooting started. Obilo said a man was escorted out of the establishment, and another man, who Obilo said was a friend of the man tossed out of the club, returned brandishing a weapon.

After being spoken to by a member of security, the man with a gun began firing at security from 17th Street down Cecil B. Moore Avenue, Obilo said.

Martin Shnayder, a 21-year-old student in the School of Media and Communication was hit in the abdomen and taken to Hahnemann Hospital, where was later released according to CSS.

Shnayder said he returned to Cecil B. Moore Avenue after being in the city with friends when they heard gunshots fired down near his residence on 16th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

“It was all kind of a blur but the next thing I remember I just kind of felt a pain in my stomach. I lifted up my shirt and I was bleeding,” Shnayder said. “I was more shocked than anything. It all happened like right then. I was just out with my friends and we were walking home and the next thing I know, I’m in the hospital.”

Charlie Leone, the acting executive director of CSS said the man fled the scene in a green minivan and threw his firearm into a snowbank.  A second man, who Leone said was the driver of the minivan, arrived at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania later driving a vehicle matching the description with a gunshot wound to the knee and is in stable condition.

The four security guards were taken in for questioning but later released as they were certified to carry the firearms, a police spokesperson said.

Police first responded to the scene when an officer on patrol said they heard the shots, Leone said. A TU Alert was sent out at 2:47 a.m. warning students to avoid the area.  According to the alert, the message was sent 40 minutes after the incident.

“It was pretty long after [the shooting],” said Madison Blyler, a senior art education major and nearby resident on the 1700 block of Willington Street.  “When we got the TU Alert, it didn’t really make us feel any better. It made us more scared.”

However, Leone said the alerts were sent out “as fast as we could get it out.”

“I think the assumption is that when the incident occurs we’re instantaneously there and that we know everything that’s happened and we’re able to pull that information out in minutes,”  Leone said. “That’s just not going to happen. It’s really difficult in most instances, especially when you have a case like this with so many moving parts.”

“We have information that we know is accurate and we put that information out in hopes that if you’re a student and you’re receiving that information then: [No. 1] If you’re in the area then you know what’s happening and [No. 2] You want to take some precautions,” Leone added.

A second TU Alert was issued at 3:09 a.m. reporting the student had been discharged from the hospital.

Obilo, an alumnus of the Fox School of Business, said the event going on that night was a 33rd birthday party.

“I try to provide a nice place safely for people to have fun, and these guys… they just don’t know how to act,” Obilo said.

The police are still looking for the second man they say was the gunman. The incident is still being investigated.

“[Following the gunshots] we were like, ‘Oh my God those were really gun shots,’” Blyler said. “We were paralyzed by the fact that it could have been any one of us.”

Marcus McCarthy can be reached at or on Twitter @MarcusMcCarthy6. 

Addy Peterson contributed reporting.

1 Comment

  1. Goes to show how useless the TU Alert system is. Good reportage here. When that alert went out, I was like, “what the hell could have gone on?” It had no information: was it a robbery? a fight? It would have been good to know a student caught a stray bullet from a fight happening at the club across the street from him, don’t you think?

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