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Police say suspect killed his girlfriend before going on a shooting rampage in Upper Darby

No one was injured after a man opened fire at SEPTA police officers at the busy travel hub early Thursday morning.

Police at 69th Street Terminal, in Philadelphia, December 2, 2021.
Police at 69th Street Terminal, in Philadelphia, December 2, 2021.Read moreJESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

A man is in custody after Upper Darby police said he shot and killed his girlfriend, wounded a man on the street, and engaged in a shootout with SEPTA officers outside the 69th Street Transportation Center.

Upper Darby police responded to a report of a shooting at the 7000 block of Terminal Square early Thursday morning. Superintendent Tim Bernhardt said the suspect exited an apartment after shooting his romantic partner in an apparent domestic dispute. As the suspect walked down Market Street, he shot a man he encountered in the shoulder and hospitalized the bystander with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Bernhardt.

Around 4 a.m., two SEPTA officers saw a man brandishing a gun after hearing gunshots outside the terminal, according to a spokesperson. The suspect then fired at the SEPTA officers, leading to a shootout that ended with the gunman taken into custody. No injuries were reported.

“They’re lucky to be alive,” Bernhardt said of the SEPTA officers.

Police have not yet identified the suspect, and Bernhardt said officials were holding off naming the victim until family members could be notified. Bernhardt said based on the initial investigation, he believes the suspect’s motive once he stepped out onto the street was to be shot and killed by a police officer.

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The busy 69th Street travel hub was forced to temporarily close its west and south terminals due to police activity, but both reopened early Thursday afternoon.

Some bus service was suspended, but the Market-Frankford Line, the Norristown High Speed Line, and trolley service continued to run throughout the day Thursday, according to a spokesperson.

Market Street in Upper Darby between Powell Lane and State Road was also reopened after being closed for most of the morning as police investigated the shooting incidents. A Transit Police car with what appeared to be at least six gunshots through the windshield was towed away late Thursday morning.

Onlookers milled about at the edge of the cordon on 69th and Ludlow, snapping photos of what they could see of the crime scene. At least eight police markers could be seen on the ground of Market Street.

Ruth Mkmasha hadn’t heard about the shooting but was troubled by gun violence across the country and in Philadelphia. Her nephew was shot and killed three years ago at a party, she said.

“It’s too much,” she said as she waited for her bus. “It’s too bad in this country.”