THE MAN IDENTIFIED as the homicide victim in a triple shooting early Sunday in North Philly — Pete Hopkins — was one of three men filmed by a Fox 29 news helicopter in May 2008 getting kicked and beaten by police, a police source confirmed Monday.
Hopkins, 23, of Marshall Street near Norris, in North Philly, was at Rumba's Bar & Grill at 4th and Norris, a few blocks from his home, early Sunday to watch the Mayweather vs. Cotto boxing match, according to his stepmother, Shirley Hopkins.
A man outside the bar Monday afternoon told the Daily News that Hopkins, whom he said he knew, and two other men had gotten into a fistfight outside the bar.
"Somebody got knocked down," he said. "That's when the guns came out."
The shooting took place on 4th Street, between Norris and Diamond. Police have said that Hopkins was shot two or three times in the chest and was pronounced dead at 1:57 a.m. at Temple University Hospital.
The two other men who were shot, a 19-year-old and a 24-year-old, were in stable condition Monday at Temple. Police spokeswoman Officer Jillian Russell said that the shooting stemmed from an argument and that no arrests had been made. She said the shooting was being investigated.
It was nearly four years ago to the day when Hopkins and two other men were captured on a Fox 29 helicopter video being beaten and kicked by police. About 10 p.m. May 5, 2008, police had chased Hopkins, Dwayne Dyches, and Brian Hall after a shooting at 4th and Annsbury in Feltonville. Police alleged that Hopkins had fired at four men, injuring three, as Dyches and Hall stood nearby.
Police said Hopkins, Dyches and Hall had fled in a tan Mercury Grand Marquis, and had led police on a 2?1/2-mile pursuit before they stopped at 2nd and Pike streets. There, the three were dragged from the car and beaten by police.
A 2009 Common Pleas jury acquitted Hopkins, Dyches and Hall of attempted murder in the Feltonville shooting. The jury viewed the Fox 29 tape of officers beating and kicking the men. Four jurors said afterward that they found the statements of a narcotics police officer — the prosecution's key witness — to be inconsistent. n