Deadly water gun battle


Off-duty 14th District police officer Rudolf Gary, 26, of the Northeast, allegedly shot and killed 22-year-old Howard Williams, of the 1800 block of Hoffman Street, 6:43 p.m. Sunday, Lt. Frank Vanore, of Police Public Affairs Unit said.

While Vanore would not confirm details about a water gun fight initiating the gunfire, he did say an argument ensued and Gary is believed to have discharged his weapon, striking Williams multiple times in addition to hitting a 26-year-old woman in the leg and grazing an 18-year-old man in the leg.

All three were transported to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Vanore said. Williams was pronounced dead at 5:20 p.m. while the other two were in stable condition.

Monday, District Attorney Seth Williams announced criminal charges against Gary, according to spokeswoman Tasha Jamerson.

On Tuesday morning, the district attorney posted to his Facebook page, “Yo Philly, it is never acceptable to shoot and kill someone because of a water gun fight. Never!”

After Police Internal Affairs reviewed the case, Gary was given a 30-day suspension with intent to dismiss, which began Monday, Vanore said.

Gary has been charged with murder, two counts each of aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, and three counts of possession of an instrument of crime, according to court documents.

Shot near 20th and Snyder 

Gunfire broke out yet again on the intersection of 20th Street and Snyder Avenue last week. The gunmen are still on the loose.

Police responded to the area around 5:20 p.m. April 27 to find two wounded bystanders, Detective Danielle Tolliver of South Detective Division said. A 29-year-old man told police he was deaf, but faintly heard gunshots as he exited the corner store. He started to run when a bullet struck him in his right calf, so he ran home.

An 18-year-old was on his cell phone when he was hit by a bullet in his right hand, Tolliver said. He ran to 20th and Mercy streets. Police transported both men to HUP where they were treated and released.

Ballistic evidence was located at the intersection where the two were shot in addition to the 1900 block of Dudley Street, Tolliver said.

Police did not provide a description of the shooters.

To report information, call South Detectives at 215-686-3013.

Fans on the run

A teenager, who ran out on the field during the eighth inning of Monday night’s Phillies-Cardinals game, was subdued with a taser gun while a 34-year-old repeated the act a night later.

A 17-year-old, of the 300 block of Kleman Road, Gilbertsville, allegedly ran on to the field at Citizens Bank Park at 9:20 p.m., Detective Danielle Tolliver of South Detective Division said. An officer tried to stop him, but he continued to run causing the umpires to halt the game. The officer ordered the teen to stop, but he did not abide, so the officer tasered him.

He was taken in custody and transported to Methodist Hospital for medical evaluation, Tolliver said.

He was charged with defiant trespassing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He allegedly found the incident hilarious and repeatedly laughed while the police processed him, Tolliver added.


On Tuesday night Thomas Betz, 34, of the 900 block of Browning Place, Warminster, delayed play during the top of the ninth inning of the

Phillies-Cardinals game as he allegedly ran out on the field, Detective Danielle Tolliver of South Detective Division said.

After surrendering to stadium security without incident, he was arrested, Tolliver said. Police searched him and found a single packet of marijuana. He was charged with defiant trespassing, disorderly conduct, interrupting meetings or processions and possession of a controlled substance.

Shot for charging at officer

An officer fired a shot at an angry man, who slammed the door on he and his partner’s faces and allegedly rushed at them with a large piece of glass.

Police responded to the 2200 block of South 15th Street around 7:54 p.m. April 27 for a domestic disturbance, said Lt. Frank Vanore of Police Public Affairs Unit. Jose Falero-Garcia, 31, is believed to have screamed and acted very aggressively when he answered the door after the officers knocked and identified themselves.

The officers asked him numerous times to calm down, but Falero-Garcia allegedly slammed the door on them, Vanore said. The officers called for backup and Falero-Garcia allegedly opened the door and sprinted out of the home toward the officers with his hands raised above his head with a jagged piece of glass in his right hand.

One of the officers fired one shot at the man and struck him in his abdomen, Vanore said. Falero-Garcia was taken into custody and charged with two counts of aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and resisting arrest, according to court documents.

Sale turned robbery

An elderly man was beaten and robbed inside his Grays Ferry home after posting his car for sale on the Internet.

The 71-year-old received a phone call April 27 from a man who told him he was interested in purchasing the 1997 Nissan Pathfinder that was listed on caigslist, Detective Danielle Tolliver of South Detective Division said.

The man was standing outside on the 1800 block of South 32nd Street when two men arrived on foot to look at the vehicle. They went on a test drive and offered the man $2,800. Although he wanted $3,500, he agreed and took the men inside his home to sign over the title.

One of the men asked for a bottle of water, but when the man turned to get the water, he was struck in the back of the head and both males punched him in the face, Tolliver said. Another man entered the home wearing a ski mask and the trio screamed, “where is the safe at?”

The men forced the resident upstairs where his 39-year-old roommate was sleeping in her room. The man with the ski mask pointed a silver handgun at her and took her cell phone and duct taped her hands together.

Meanwhile, one of the other perpetrators went with the 71-year-old to the rear bedroom to his safe, Tolliver said. He emptied it of its contents, which included collector coins, but asked the man, “where is the rest of the money? I’ll cut your throat.” The men searched his pockets and located an envelope with $9,800 inside.

The man wearing the ski mask told him, “shut your eyes, you’ll be better off,” Tolliver said. The man begged for his life and then heard, the men exit his bedroom and his home. He then called police at about 2:18 p.m.

The man suffered a bloody lip and swelling to his face, but the woman was unharmed, Tolliver said.

The first two men were described as black males, in their early 30s, 5-foot-6 or 5-foot-7. One was dressed in tan clothing and the other was wearing black. The third male, who was wearing a ski mask, was possibly Hispanic, in his 20s, with some facial hair and dressed in gray clothing.

To report information, call South Detectives at 215-686-3013.

Sibling stabbed 

A teen has been accused of stabbing her younger brother inside their Grays Ferry home early Sunday.

An officer was summoned to the 1600 block of South 27th Street at 4:17 a.m. where he met the teens’ mother, who informed the officer of the stabbing, Detective Danielle Tolliver of South Detective Division said. Police observed the knife in 18-year-old Christine Stanley’s right hand and saw two men struggling with her. Police demanded she drop it, but she did not obey the order, so an officer struck her arm with a baton and she dropped the weapon, Tolliver said.

Her 17-year-old brother had a cut on his forehead and on his left hand, but did not know how the altercation began.

Stanley was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, possession of an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person.

Shot in a bar

Eight days after a bar shooting at 29th and Reed streets, a man was shot four blocks west inside another Grays Ferry establishment Saturday.

Police arrived at Big Fellas Sports Bar, 1348 S. 33rd St., around 12:33 a.m. where a 32-year-old man was suffering from a wound to his right hip, Detective Danielle Tolliver of South Detective Division said. He was transported to HUP in stable condition.

The shooter, who fled east through the park on a bike, was described as a black man, in his 30s, 6 foot, with a light beard, wearing a black shirt, tan cargo pants and carrying a black duffel bag.

To report information, call South Detectives at 215-686-3013.

Robber on the loose

""The FBI and police are looking for a Grays Ferry man who is believed to have robbed three banks within the last 15 days.

Daniel Hodgins, 30, was charged April 29 in federal court with bank robbery for the April 21 robbery of PNC Bank, 230 S. Broad St. and the April 26 robbery of TruMark Federal Credit Union, 1811 JFK Blvd., according to FBI spokesman J.J. Klaver.

The FBI also believes that he was responsible for the robbery at Republic First Bank, 1601 Market St., 1 p.m. Monday where he handed the teller a threatening note and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to Klaver.

Hodgins is white, 5-foot-7, 175 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. During Monday’s robbery, he was wearing a plain dark blue baseball cap, a light blue T-shirt and tan cargo pants. He is considered armed and dangerous.

He served time for a 2002 robbery in which he was found guilty of robbery, possession of an instrument of crime and a firearm violation, according to court documents.

To report information, call the FBI at 215-418-4000.

Contact Staff Writer Amanda Snyder at or ext. 117.