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Man shot his brother and father in Philly home; police say shooter thought they were ‘possessed’

The alleged gunman was waiting for police when officers arrived, authorities said.

The 2000 block of East Walnut Lane, where a double homicide occurred in Philadelphia early Tuesday.
The 2000 block of East Walnut Lane, where a double homicide occurred in Philadelphia early Tuesday.Read moreJESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

A 62-year-old West Oak Lane man has been charged with shooting to death his brother and their father because, police said, he believed they were “possessed."

Anslem Callender confessed to killing his father and brother to officers who responded to a 911 call Callender made Tuesday morning to report the shooting in his basement on the 2000 block of East Walnut Lane, said Homicide Capt. Jason Smith.

When police arrived at 12:45 a.m., they found Callender sitting in a chair near the bodies in a rear bedroom of the twin’s basement. Both men had been shot multiple times with a pistol and a shotgun.

The victims, 83-year-old Arnim Callender, a New Jersey resident, and Ancil Callender, 59, who also lived out of town, were in town to attend a funeral for another relative, Smith said. They had been staying with Anslem Callender.

Before being taken into custody, Anslem Callender told police that his father and brother were “possessed,” Smith told reporters during a news conference at Police Headquarters. Smith said he did not know what triggered the attack but there were signs that a fight had taken place in the basement bedroom.

A 9mm pistol and a shotgun were found in the basement bedroom. Six shots were fired from the handgun, Smith said. He said the pistol was not registered to the suspect and belonged to someone long deceased. The shotgun, Smith said, was used twice, once on each victim.

Before those deaths, 42 homicides had been recorded in the city this year.

Correction: The neighborhood where the shooting took place has been updated.