TO HEAR HIS friends tell it, Shaquelle Abraham was killed an hour and a half before starting a new chapter in his life.
"Everything seemed like it was falling in line for him, everything was going good," James Robinson said last night. "I was just talking to him Thursday, then he was over my house Saturday.
"Here it is Monday, and he's gone."
Abraham, 19, was killed during an apparent home invasion at his mother's apartment on Fairgreen Lane near Woodbridge Road in Northeast Philadelphia yesterday morning, said Officer Leeloni Palmiero, a police spokeswoman.
She gave the following account: Someone tried to kick the door in to the apartment, where Abraham and his girlfriend, also 19, were staying just before 10:30 a.m.
His girlfriend, the only witness to the incident, ran upstairs and hid in a closet when she saw a man force his way inside.
From her hiding place, she heard a single gunshot, and came out to find her boyfriend staggering into the bedroom, clutching his chest. Officers pronounced him dead at the scene from that gunshot wound minutes later.
What's most cruel, according to Robinson, is that Abraham, after months of planning, was set to move into a place of his own yesterday at noon.
"He was just waiting for them to turn the power on," said Robinson, who lives a few doors down from Abraham's mother. "It's just sad to see a young man die like that, someone who was striving to do something right."
Robinson wouldn't elaborate on the victim's past, only saying that he had his "ups and downs."
Court records show Abraham had an active case in Municipal Court for drug charges stemming from an incident in December. He was set for a preliminary hearing April 21.
No information was available on a motive last night, Palmiero said, but it didn't appear as if anything had been taken.