A man in his 30s is dead after police believe he fired a gunshot out the window of a high-rise Center City apartment building Tuesday and then fatally shot himself in the head.

Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said officers responded to the Sterling Apartment Homes on the 1800 block of John F. Kennedy Boulevard about 1 p.m., after receiving multiple reports of gunshots. The drama played out just three blocks south of the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, where the installation of Archbishop Nelson Pérez is under way.

Officers responded to the 18th floor and encountered a 66-year-old man who indicated his roommate was in an argument with another man and someone had been shot. When officers got in the apartment, they found a man in his 30s, whom they have not identified, by himself, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police also believe the man fired one gunshot eastbound out the window, and that round appears to have hit a banister.

Kinebrew said evidence suggests there was a third person in the apartment at the time of the incident, but police haven’t heard from that individual, though they don’t believe “he did anything in violation of the law.”

Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments block off J.F.K. Boulevard and 18th Street due to a barricade situation.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments block off J.F.K. Boulevard and 18th Street due to a barricade situation.

The relationship between the man who is now dead and the occupants of the apartment is unclear. Kinebrew said it appeared the man in his 30s didn’t live there but was “lawfully present.”

Police closed off traffic in both directions on JFK Boulevard as the incident unfolded.

Police declared the incident a barricade situation at 1:02 p.m. The man was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:58 p.m., and authorities lifted the barricade at 2:05 p.m.