Police say one thing was evident almost immediately after a barber was gunned down execution-style in a shop near the 69th Street Terminal on Wednesday: The victim knew his killer.
A day after the midafternoon shooting, which occurred in the presence of several patrons, including a 4-year-old boy, Upper Darby Township police arrested Sharif Wynn, 27, of the 5800 block of North Howard Street in Philadelphia, Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.
Wynn was charged with the murder of Michael Turner, 35, also known as Michael Boone, whose last known address was the 7100 block of West Chester Pike, Upper Darby.
Wynn told police the shooting was accidental; Chitwood said the evidence argued otherwise.
"There is no doubt he wanted to whack him," Chitwood said.
"It looked like a love triangle gone bad," he said, adding that Wynn was arrested at the home of Turner's ex-girlfriend.
Chitwood said that Police Capt. George Rhoades and a team of detectives had worked on the case through the night and that the woman, who was not identified, "was very cooperative."
Chitwood gave the following account:
The assailant, dressed as a woman in Muslim garb, entered the shop on bustling Copley Road shortly before 2 p.m., announced a holdup, and ordered the patrons to lie on the floor and empty the contents of their wallets.
The gunman then approached the barber, who was heard to say, " 'I've got your money,' " and then shot him in the temple. The assailant fled in his older-model gold Oldsmobile.
In the gunman's account to police, Turner had dropped the money on the floor, and, as Wynn bent to pick it up, the gun accidentally fired.
Chitwood said the victim's wound showed the gun had been fired at close range.
As for robbery as a possible motive, Chitwood said the gunman had taken money from only the victim.
Police said Wynn told them he dumped the 9mm weapon, which he said he had bought in South Philadelphia, into a West Philadelphia sewer. Police were searching for it late Thursday.
Court records show Wynn was arrested twice in 2006 in Philadelphia on aggravated-assault and drug charges, but they were dismissed in both cases.
Turner had been arrested three times in Philadelphia, according to court records, most recently on a rape charge, of which he was acquitted in November.
In 1998, he was sentenced to 11 months in prison and four years of probation on drug charges.
Angel Hall, a cousin of the victim's, said Turner had since turned his life around.
"He paid his debt to society," she said. "He was doing all the right things.
She said she knew Turner as "a family man. He was very giving. He was well-loved."
at 610-761-8423 or firstname.lastname@example.org.