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Chef shot dead in car outside his South Philly restaurant

Quadir Flippen was on his way to start his day at the Black Seed Cafe at 24th and Federal Streets when he was shot.

The intersection of 24th and Federal Streets in South Philadelphia, this car was hit by the victim's car after the shooting outside the Black Seed Restaurant at South 24th and Federal Streets.
The intersection of 24th and Federal Streets in South Philadelphia, this car was hit by the victim's car after the shooting outside the Black Seed Restaurant at South 24th and Federal Streets.Read moreJESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

The 31-year-old executive chef of a South Philadelphia restaurant was shot and fatally wounded Thursday morning in a car outside his workplace, police said.

Arriving officers responding to a call for a shooting just before 6 a.m. found Quadir Flippen in a black Honda Accord after it crashed into a parked car in the 1200 block of South 24th Street, outside of the Black Seed Cafe at Federal Street, police said.

Flippen, who had been shot multiple times in his body, was taken by police to Penn Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:27 a.m.

The corner restaurant, which opens at 6 a.m. for breakfast, was closed Thursday after the shooting.

Homicide Capt. Jason Smith said at a news conference Friday that investigators were still searching for surveillance video or other helpful evidence. He said that it did not appear as if Flippen had been robbed, and that the reasons for the attack remained unclear.

“We’re not sure what the motive for this incident is going to be,” Smith said.

Flippen’s passion for cooking was clear to everyone who met him, said his friend Anton Moore. He recalled how the chef had explained it: “He said, ‘I love bringing people together and making people smile.’ ”

The investigation into Flippen’s death is ongoing, with police reviewing surveillance cameras in the area in an effort to identify a suspect. No weapon was recovered at the scene.

Neighborhood resident Zach Gorddard, 28, said he was awakened by the sound of gunshots, followed by the screeching of tires and a car crash.

He looked out the window and saw the driver slumped over in the front seat. He ran downstairs to call 911, but saw police were already arriving, and watched as first responders pulled the driver from the car.

A few hours later, those walking by could see where police had apparently circled bullet casings in yellow and a smattering of shattered glass.

The restaurant’s Facebook page soon hosted comments on the sudden, violent death of Flippen, who lived half a mile away on the 2200 block of Wilder Street in Point Breeze.

“This is absolutely devastating. This was not suppose to be his path,” one commenter wrote. “My condolences to Quadir’s family and friends. I know he will most certainly be missed but welcomed with the biggest hug from his mom.”

The restaurant had its grand opening Nov. 2, and Flippen frequently posted about it on Facebook with photos of food, listing new menu items, and thanking people for their support.

“S/O 2 all my family and friends who’s supported us this far,” he wrote on Facebook on Wednesday morning. “We appreciate all genuine love. We are gonna continue to grow and get better every day!!! We love our neighborhood • daily customers • friends • family & all so you guys continue to support us we will continue to provide great food and service. "

In an Instagram post, City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, whose district covers the restaurant and Flippen’s neighborhood, mourned the chef’s slaying.

Johnson said he met Flippen at the opening and later that week went to the Black Seed for breakfast.

Flippen, he said, “had such a level of professionalism and gratitude for his position” as chef. “Furthermore, he was always positive and you knew he was a young man on a mission with a bright future.”

Johnson also decried the life cut short. “If you knew about any aspect of what transpired that resulted in his death and could have prevented it, shame on you,” he wrote.

Flippen was an inspiration to Moore, who is president of Unity in the Community, a gun-violence-prevention nonprofit based in South Philadelphia.

“In our neighborhood, where we come from in South Philadelphia, you see a lot of violence, a lot of drug activity,” Moore said. “When you see a young brother in the community doing well, actually cooking the food and being there, to a lot of people in our community it was a blessing.”

This article was updated to correct the location of the shooting.

Staff writer Chris Palmer contributed to this article.