Tuesday, December 1, 2015

UPDATED: Murder investigation in Southwest Philly

Police were investigating a homicide early Wednesday night after a man was shot to death in broad daylight.

UPDATED: Murder investigation in Southwest Philly

Police are investigating a murder on Edgewood Street near Springfield Avenue in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia.
Police are investigating a murder on Edgewood Street near Springfield Avenue in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia.

Updated at 9:30 a.m. Thursday

Family members sobbed Wedneday at the scene where a 52-year-old man was shot dead in broad daylight in Southwest Philadelphia.

Cops were called to Edgewood Street near Springfield Avenue at 6:17 p.m. for the report of a shooting and found the victim lying on the blacktop bleeding from several gunshot wounds to his head, face, neck and upper torso, Chief Inspector Scott Small said. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:24 p.m.

He was identified Thursday morning as Francisco Bland, who lived nearby on the 6000 block of Trinity Street.

Small said ballistic evidence showed that at least 14 shots were fired at the victim at point-blank range. Witnesses told police the shooter was a thin man in his 30s with dreadlocks who fled the scene eastbound on Springfield Avenue.

A gut-wrenching scene unfolded on the block about an hour after the man was slain as a group of distraught family members pulled up. A woman sobbed that she was the man's sister and pleaded with police to let her past the yellow crime-scene tape.

Small said detectives were interviewing family members and some witnesses to the shooting to determine what sparked it.

The victim was known to police, investigators said. Court records show Bland had an arrest record dating back to at least 1984 and was awaiting trial on a drug possession charge.

The homicide was the second in Southwest Philadelphia's 12th District in less than 24 hours after a man was shot dead during what cops said was a home-invasion on Vogdes Street near Chester Avenue overnight. The victim of that shooting was identified Thursday morning as James Folsom, 36.

There have been 215 homicides so far this year, up from 196 last year.

As police continued to investigate around 8 p.m., a man stepped up to the edge of the scene and shook his head.

"That was my friend," he said. "He was a good dude, it should've never happened to him."

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Philly Confidential, which covers crime in Philadelphia and the suburbs, is written by Daily News staffers Dana DiFilippo, Stephanie Farr and Vinny Vella.

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