The man accused of shooting a Kmart store worker Tuesday shot and killed himself yesterday as police tried to arrest him in Northeast Philadelphia.

Daryl Anthony Birch, 30, was found dead at 7:30 a.m. in his house on the 100 block of Albanus Street in the city's Olney section. A SWAT team had amassed on the block as detectives prepared to serve Birch with a warrant.

Birch shot himself in the head in an upstairs front bedroom, Lt. George McClay of Northwest Detectives said. "He got scared," McClay said.

Investigators launched a manhunt for Birch after he critically injured an employee at the Kmart store in the 8800 block of Frankford Avenue.

Birch had been arguing with his girlfriend, who also worked at the store, when the other employee, 35, tried to intervene. Police said Birch opened fire in the store near the loading dock, striking the victim in the head, chest and an arm. The man remained in critical but stable condition yesterday.

Birch's mother, Sandra Timson, stood on Albanus Street and watched yesterday as her son's body was removed from the house in a bright blue bag.

"He had a bad relationship," she said. "I knew something was coming, but I didn't know he was going to kill himself."

Timson, 52, said her son had five children by two women. He had juggled relationships with his girlfriend and his wife for 10 years, and his wife filed for divorce earlier this year, she said.

Timson said both women would be barred from her son's funeral.

Birch owned three houses, his mother said, including the rowhouse he shared on Albanus Street with his girlfriend and three children.

His brother Roger Fletcher, 29, said Birch was a hard worker and usually quiet.

"He just got backed into a corner, and for the first time in his life he didn't know what to do," Fletcher said.

Birch worked as a security guard and was licensed to carry a gun, his mother said.

"He had a license to kill," Timson said, "but not anyone like that."

Contact staff writer Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or