Arrests have been made in the murders of Anthony "Tony" D'Antonio and Craig Young, two men killed last week in the middle of their ordinary days at ordinary jobs.
D'Antonio was 60, Young was 41 - decades beyond the age when young men are more disposed to act with reckless disregard for their own survival and the lives of others.
D'Antonio, a Vietnam veteran, was shot in the head at 1:42 p.m. Tuesday while seated in the chair of the flea market he operated from a small, cluttered shop at 58th Street and Elmwood Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia.
Young had been working at Yasmin Food Market at 23d and Jefferson Streets in North Philadelphia at 5:40 p.m. Thursday when a stray bullet - from a gunfight on the street outside the store - pierced a window and whistled through his chest.
Suspects have been arrested in both cases, police said yesterday. Their identities were not released, but police said the suspect in D'Antonio's shooting was a teenager from the neighborhood.
Young, said Sgt. Frank W. Hayes of the city's Homicide Unit, "had nothing to do with the altercation that was going on outside. He just caught a stray bullet."
D'Antonio seems to have died as a result of "a robbery gone bad," Hayes said.
"The only pattern I see is . . . the availability of illegal guns on street," Hayes said. "Guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them."
Yesterday, the weather cast a pall on the street where D'Antonio had his shop. Rain dripped from the plastic Santa beards in front yards and made the ink bleed on hand-written notes pinned to the wooden door and lying on a coffee table altar outside D'Antonio's brick-walled building.
"RIP Tony, you will be missed. Love, The McCloskey family."
"Tony, we will miss you so much. God Bless you! DeFelice family."
The neighborhood seemed deserted, in part because many of the residents spend Sunday at church. In at least one congregation, the shootings came up in the sermon, said a woman who declined to be identified because it might "put my family in danger."
"People will think you know more than you really do," the woman said.
The street where D'Antonio had his shop was "the quiet side," said Tamall Stanley, who lives a few doors down.
"Everyone knew Tony," said Stanley, 27. "He didn't mess with anyone. If you wanted something cheap, he usually had it. And if he didn't have it, he'd see if he could get it for you. Car stereos and house stuff. Most of the Christmas decorations you see on this street probably came from him."
The business was so integrated into the neighborhood that it did not have a sign outside, post hours, or advertise specials.
Stanley said he was not surprised to hear that the suspect was a teenager who lived nearby. A few days before the shooting, he had heard shots in the alley behind his house.
"I thought it was probably one of the knuckleheads from around here," Stanley said. "They steal cars. They do everything."