A possible drug deal gone wrong nearly turned deadly overnight for a man driven nearly 14 miles across the city after being abducted.
“We’re looking at an abduction as well as a shooting,’ said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.
Just after 11:30 p.m., officers responded to the 7400 block of Summerdale Avenue in the Rhawnhurst section of the city for reports of a person screaming along the roadway.
When police arrived they found a 38-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds to his back and leg, according to Small.
Medics rushed the man to Aria Health-Torresdale Hospital where he underwent surgery early Monday while in very critical condition, said Small.
There was evidence that the victim was shot at “point-blank” range, according to Small. “This victim was also duct taped, his wrist and his ankles were duct-taped.”
He also had bruising to his face suggesting he was beaten, said Small.
Police traced the victim’s steps back to 49th Street and Springfield Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia where they found his Cadillac with the driver’s side window shot out.
“We’re not sure now if the victim was shot initially,” Small said.
Investigators initially said the man was returning from a gambling trip to SugarHouse Casino along Delaware Avenue when the suspects attacked him.
In a statement, SugarHouse denied investigators' claim that the victim was ever at the casino.
“Early reports that a Southwest Philly robbery victim was followed from SugarHouse last night are inaccurate. This incident has no connection to the casino.”
Police later retracted the claim that the victim was out gambling instead saying that it appeared to be a targeted attack possibly by fellow drug dealers.
“This 38-year-old victim was abducted and forced into a van,” said Small.
The van was light in color with “Soft Touch Cleaning Service” written on the side in red, said Small. It was alter found torched, according to investigators.
Robbery could be a motive.
“We know that about $3,800 in cash was stolen from this victim,” Small said.
Small said he hopes surveillance cameras from nearby Northeast High School help police find the perpetrators.
The victim also was able to tell authorities some scant details before going into shock while headed to the hospital. Police say he is a known drug dealer and that people were questioned in the case.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Philadelphia Police.