Accused Piazza killer nabbed

A deputy U.S. marshal was in serious condition last night after being hit by a vehicle while tracking down the man accused of firing the fatal shots that killed two people in the June 27 double-homicide in the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties, the U.S. Marshals Office said.

Donnell Murchison, 33, was arrested yesterday at 5:35 p.m., Acting U.S. Marshal John Patrignani said.

A 34-year-old deputy marshal was chasing Murchison on foot when he was hit by a vehicle, Patrignani said. He was hospitalized at Aria Health-Torresdale and was in intensive care with head injuries.

Murchison was trying to get out the second-floor rear window of a house on Ryerson Road near Willits, Northeast Philadelphia, Patrignani said. The deputy was watching him and was trying to prevent him from escaping when he was hit by the vehicle.

Murchison then ran into the woods behind the house and was arrested.

Murchison is the sixth person held in connection with a double homicide of Rian Thal, 40, and Timothy Gilmore, 41, who were fatally shot on the seventh floor of the Navona building outside Thal's apartment in an incident police have characterized as a drug robbery gone wrong.

Police found four kilograms of cocaine and $100,000 in Thal's apartment.

Meanwhile, the lawyer for the accused mastermind of the drug robbery that led to the shooting says his client wants to see the evidence against him or be released to await trial.

Will Hook, 40, who was charged under his alias Keith Epps, has been in custody since July 11. His preliminary hearing has been delayed until Sept. 23.