Two are shot to death in Northern Liberties

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The apartments at the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties. (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer )

A woman and a man were fatally shot in the hallway of a posh new Northern Liberties apartment building last night, and the killings were apparently captured by security cameras.

Police were investigating a motive for the shootings around 6 p.m. in the seventh-floor corridor of the Navona building of the recently opened Piazza at Schmidts.

The homicides were picked up on security cameras that are trained on each hallway and surround the building, said Tower Investments Inc. spokeswoman Clare Pelino.

Authorities did not identify the victims, but several grieving friends identified the female as the 34-year-old manager of a nightclub who was a tenant in the building. Police said the male victim was believed to be from another state.

Two residents who were moving into the building in the 1000 block of North Hancock Street heard the shots as they unloaded furniture.

"I heard a couple more shots that sounded like they were coming down the elevator," said one of the men, who declined to be identified. "I said to my dad, 'Those sound like gunshots.' He said, 'Nah.' "

He said he saw a man leave the building and run south on Hancock Street. Police said they are looking for several suspects.

Police said the woman was shot in the back of the neck and the head. Her body was found outside of her apartment. The male victim, believed to be in his 30s, suffered multiple gunshots to the chest, the stomach, and a thigh. He was found outside an elevator. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

The $100 million, 500-unit apartment complex, built by developer Bart Blatstein on the site of the old Schmidt's brewery, was modeled on Rome's Piazza Navona.

Pelino described the double slaying as "an isolated incident" that was "not random."

"We're trying not to cause alarm," she said. "This is a nice neighborhood. It's pretty much crime-free."

Tenants calmly walked their dogs and talked on cell phones while they were barred from entering the building as police forensics technicians collected evidence. Police stared out a broken seventh-floor window, shattered by a gunshot.

"It's horrific," said Chris Laine, who identified himself as a friend of the female victim's.


Contact staff writer Andrew Maykuth

at 215-854-2947 or amaykuth@phillynews.com.