They fell in love quickly, but had their problems. Still, family members of Terry Corrigan IV couldn't have foreseen that Corrigan would be shot to death Wednesday morning, as police said, by his girlfriend in the hallway outside her Fishtown apartment.
Police charged Jeanette B. Wakefield, 37, who had recently worked as a Center City real estate broker, with murder and possession of an instrument of crime.
"Two young people with emotions, love, and a little bit of problems," Terry Corrigan III, 58, said in an interview Friday afternoon on the Kensington block where he and his 33-year-old son lived.
The father recalled how he and his son met Wakefield in early 2016 at the Planet Fitness in Kensington. "She was doing chin-ups, a good-looking girl," he said.
The elder Corrigan introduced Wakefield to his son. The two hit it off. They found out that she was a real estate agent, and Corrigan IV was a contractor who worked in roofing, and did cement work and carpentry. "Another week goes by, they're in love," the father said.
Wakefield, most recently affiliated with Coldwell Banker, lived with her children, a son and a daughter, at the Chandler apartment building, the site of a former school, along East Montgomery Avenue.
This past week, the younger Corrigan was scheduled to enter a residential rehab facility for his heroin addiction. On Tuesday, he and Wakefield went to his house on the 3300 block of Coral Street to gather some of his belongings, said his father, who lives in another house on the block.
Wakefield, too, had problems — hers was alcohol, the elder Corrigan and Wakefield's Fishtown neighbors said.
Corrigan IV's father said his sister had been on the phone with Wakefield around 3 a.m. Wednesday when she heard an argument erupt between the couple. According to his sister, Wakefield was in her apartment and her boyfriend, who had stepped out to smoke, wanted back in.
But Wakefield began arguing through the door, blaming him for breaking a table in her apartment. Then, the elder Corrigan's sister heard over the phone what sounded like two gunshots — or one gunshot and an echo.
The sister asked Wakefield if she shot Corrigan. After a pause, Wakefield allegedly replied: "Yeah, he's down. I got to call 911."
Officers found Corrigan on the hallway floor with a gunshot wound to his head. He was pronounced dead at 3:43 a.m.
Wakefield's children, ages 9 and 10, were in the apartment at the time, Homicide Capt. John Ryan said Friday. Police recovered her 9mm semiautomatic gun, which she had a permit to carry, Ryan said.
Susan Corrigan, the victim's mother, said it was her son who taught Wakefield how to shoot the gun about a month ago.
"She was a single mother living alone and she had a real estate license," Susan Corrigan, 54, said. "That's the ironic part of it — he showed her how to shoot it, aim it, hold it."
Terry was the second of her three children. He graduated from Northeast Prep and was nicknamed "Temp," his parents said.
"I forgive her," the mother said of Wakefield. "I have to forgive her to go on, but they were both battling their own demons."
On her Facebook and LinkedIn pages, Wakefield identifies herself as a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Preferred – Center City.
Roni Boyles, Coldwell Banker's director of public relations, said Friday that Wakefield was an independent contractor, not an employee. She "last did a deal with our company in July," said Boyles.
Neighbors, who did not want to give their name for fear of retaliation, described seeing Wakefield walking on their block drunk. They said Corrigan was addicted to heroin, but said he was not abusive to her. "One minute, they were lovey-dovey, the next day they were arguing, fighting," said one 55-year-old woman.
Wakefield, in custody at the Riverside Correctional Facility on State Road, faces an Oct. 18 preliminary hearing.
Court records indicated she had retained lawyer Timothy Tarpey on Friday. He could not be immediately reached for comment.