Man, 32, fatally shot

in West Phila.

* 57th Street near Wyalusing Avenue

A 32-year-old man was fatally shot in West Philadelphia yesterday afternoon, police said.

The man, whom police identified as Khalif Lawus, was shot in the chest and torso at 3:33 p.m., police said.

Cops took him to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was pronounced dead at 3:50 p.m.

The shooting is still under investigation. No arrests have been made and police have not established a motive for the shooting.

Cops search for armed robber * Moyamensing Avenue near 11th Street

A surveillance camera recorded a man robbing a grocery store in South Philadelphia at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon, and police are asking for help from the public to identify him.

About 4:45 p.m., a man walked into Qin's Grocery demanding money, police said.

Surveillance footage shows the man walking through the store brandishing the gun while the clerk grabbed cash from the register.

Police said that the man ran from the store with about $200, and was last seen going south on 11th Street, then east on Porter.

The robber is described as a white man with a stocky build who is in his 20s and has dark hair.

He was wearing a purple or royal-blue hooded sweater with "Monster" written across the front, dark pants, and black and white Adidas shell-top sneakers.

Tipsters are asked to call 215-686-TIPS (-8477).

Authorities probe 8 car arsons

* Bodine Street near Cayuga

A joint city-federal arson task force is investigating the torching of eight cars in three adjoining neighborhoods in the city early yesterday, officials said.

Except for their relative proximity, officials have not established a link among the incidents.

The fires were reported between 4:37 a.m. and 5:20 a.m. in Olney, Feltonville and Crescentville, Fire Department Capt. Jeffrey Thompson said.

The task force looking into the fires includes investigators from the city police and fire departments, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fires, which were at the following locations:

Whitaker Avenue near Louden Street, Feltonville; F Street near Ruscomb, Cresentville; 2nd Street near Roosevelt Boulevard, Olney; 2nd Street near Lindley Avenue, Olney; Sheldon Street near Rising Sun Avenue, Olney; Bodine Street near Bristol, Feltonville; and two cars at Bodine Street near Cayuga, Feltonville.

Earlier this month, five cars were set on fire in Wissinoming.

In the early-morning hours of Dec. 4, four cars were torched on Cottage Street near East Cheltenham Avenue, and a fifth vehicle was found ablaze on Cheltenham Avenue.

Man, 67, critically hurt in shooting * 74th Avenue near 19th Street

Police are investigating a shooting last night in West Oak Lane that left a 67-year-old man severely wounded.

The man was walking on the street about 7:20 p.m. when he was approached by two men wearing masks and dark, hooded sweaters, Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

The men shot the victim once in each of his arms and once in his chest before they fled in a red Ford Taurus, Small said.

Police said the incident may have been an armed-robbery attempt, but were unsure if the gunmen took anything from the victim.

Police rushed the man to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where they said he was listed in critical condition as of 8:30 p.m.

A witness was taken to speak with police in the Northwest Detective Division, and police are working with businesses near the scene to determine whether the shooting was recorded on a surveillance camera.

No arrests were made.

Man robbed

of guns, cash

* 2nd Street near Roosevelt Boulevard

Two thieves stole nine guns and a man's wallet during an armed robbery in Feltonville last night, police said.

The victim told police that he was robbed after returning from a shooting range about 8:20 p.m.

Two men approached the victim after he parked his car at his home. One man was armed with a gun and the other held a knife, according to Officer Christine O'Brien, a police spokeswoman.

They robbed the man of a duffel bag that contained nine guns and a wallet containing an undisclosed sum of cash, said Capt. Frank Vanore, commanding officer of the 25th Police District.

Police said that both thugs wore ski masks.

The man armed with a gun was described as white, heavy-set, wearing khaki pants. The knife-wielding man was described as black, about 6 feet 3 and wearing all black clothing.

The robbers were last seen running west on Louden Street, police said.

Man armed with ax, dagger is shot

* Quinton Township, Salem County, N.J.

New Jersey State Police shot a South Jersey man yesterday after he allegedly threw an ax at three troopers and charged at them while reaching for a dagger.

Today's Sunbeam, of Salem, reported that Wesley Pitts, 63, of Quinton Township, was shot in the arm and shoulder during the confrontation. His injuries were not considered life-threatening.

The shooting happened about 5:25 a.m., after the suspect's brother reported that Pitts was at his home, brandishing the ax and making threatening comments. The troopers arrived and found Pitts at the nearby home of another relative, and the shooting soon occurred.

Pitts remained in the hospital last night. His bail was set at $200,000 cash. He faces three counts of aggravated assault and several weapons offenses.

- Phillip Lucas, Jan Ransom,

staff and wire reports