While attorney Spencer A. Hill Jr. recovers from being shot in the chest during an attempted robbery last week in his West Philadelphia neighborhood, police Thursday asked members of the public to look at newly released video of the suspected gunman to help identify and catch him.
“Unfortunately gun violence is a serious issue here in the city and across the country,” Capt. Frank Milillo of the Southwest Detective Division said during an afternoon news conference. “But most of the time it’s people that are involved in illegal activity. This gentleman was working late, working hard at night on his way home when he encountered this offender, and we believe it was an attempted robbery.”
Attorneys from Hill’s law firm, Ballard Spahr, joined police officials at police headquarters to voice support for him and to remind the public that the firm is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the gunman’s conviction.
“We can’t have young people coming and [committing] to make this city their home and then being in fear of their lives,” said Mark Stewart, chairman of Ballard Spahr. “Spencer, physically, he hopes to be cleared to come back to work next week. Emotionally, he’s not quite there yet. He [had] every intention of living in that home and making an impact in the community. Now his life is upside down.”
Hill, 37, was on his way home from work March 4 when he was shot once in the chest around 10:20 p.m. shortly after getting off a bus at 52nd and Spruce Streets, Lt. James Kearney said.
He sensed he was being followed after turning from 52nd Street onto Hazel Street, where he saw the gunman, Kearney said. Hill turned to face the gunman in a defensive stance, then was shot, Kearney said.
Police described the gunman as a black man in his early 20s with a medium build, wearing a black jacket, tan pants, and green New Balance sneakers.
The gunman is suspected in two other recent crimes, Kearney said: the armed robbery of a 22-year-old man at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 in the 5200 block of Ranstead Street and an attempted robbery in the 5200 block of Allison Street just before Hill was shot.
Hill has been released from the hospital. ″Mr. Hill is recovering, but we can use your help," Kearney said, addressing the public.
Last week, Hill told The Inquirer that the shooting had persuaded his wife and him to move from their West Philadelphia home. “This guy, he’s still out there," Hill said of the gunman. "We don’t know who he is or what his motives were. We don’t know anything, so it’s better for us just to get out of here.”