A South Philadelphia man is charged with attempted murder for allegedly critically injuring another driver on the Schuylkill Expressway earlier this month.
Christian Squillaciotti, 33, of the 400 block of West Shunk Street, is charged with two counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault and related offenses, Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel announced during a morning press conference at Police Headquarters.
Squillaciotti, a competitive martial artist and ex-Marine, surrendered about 6 p.m. yesterday while family members consoled him after police alerted him that they were on their way to avoid a potential confrontation.
Authorities said it was an emotional time for the family who tried to understand what happened with Squillaciotti, who had never had any trouble with the law.
When police searched Squillaciotti's home yesterday evening, they confiscated numerous weapons, including a .40 caliber handgun, the same caliber used in the Schuylkill shooting. Ballistics tests will try to determine if that is the same weapon used in the Oct. 5 shooting of Thomas Timko.
Squillaciotti does have a permit to carry a firearm and can legally own guns in his home, police said. Authorities are still investigating whether all the guns confiscated, including a Russian SKS rifle, are legal.
Police also confiscated the pickup truck they said Squillaciotti was driving around 8:40 p.m. when at least four shots were fired at the SUV driven by Timko, 41, of Glendora, Gloucester Township.
Timko, who was wounded in the side of the forehead, remains in critical but stable condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. A friend said his girlfriend remains at his side.
At the time of the incident, Timko was driving his 8-year-old daughter, Katie, back to her mother's home in Norristown.
After going through the Whitman toll plaza, police believe Timko cut off another driver near the Passyunk exit.
The drivers exchanged words, and Timko opened the moonroof of his 2001 Toyota Highlander and gestured to the other driver, police said. The other driver fired before abruptly taking Passyunk.
Wounded, Timko managed to slow his Highlander to the side of the road, where his daughter got out and flagged down help.
After checking surveillance cameras, police yesterday released a photograph of a Ford pickup that passed through the toll plaza within minutes of Timko's vehicle using E-Z Pass.
Police said releasing the photos led to the tips that helped detectives.
Squillaciotti, who stands about 6 feet, four inches and weighs 290 pounds, at one point was a competitive mixed martial arts fighter.