Vicious Teen Murder Stuns Somerton Community

By Queen Muse
|  Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013  |  Updated 2:51 PM EDT
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Teen's Murder Was Vicious and Personal

Daquan Crump, 19, was shot 10-12 times in the face and head. His body was found at a demolition site in Somerton on Monday morning, August 19, 2013.

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Residents of the Somerton community in Northeast Philadelphia where the body of 19-year-old shooting victim Daquan Crump was discovered, say they never thought such a heinous crime could occur right in their backyard.

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"That's totally shocking," France DeJesus said. "We're pretty much always close -- the neighbors -- we always gather together and stuff like that. So believe me, it shocked us that none of us didn't hear nothing. When you've been here 20 years, you know your noise and we didn't hear nothing. It's just shocking to hear that a young male died like that, you know."

DeJesus lives across the street from where Crump's body was discovered on Monday, August 19, by a construction worker around 7:20 a.m. at the former site of Black Red White Furniture on the 10000 block of Northeast Avenue. Police say he was shot 10 to 12 times in the face and head.

Sam Lepera, who has lived in the neighborhood for 18 years, said the crime was both unusually violent and unusual to his neighborhood.

"If you ask me, it was overkill," Lepera said. "I mean, it’s quiet here. We've got cops living in this neighborhood. This is just not appropriate for this area; not a murder like that."

According to Philadelphia Police Department data, this is the third homicide reported this year in the 7th police district, which covers the Somerton neighborhood.

On June 27, police responded to a call about a burning vehicle on the 2300 block of Woodward Avenue, less than three miles from where Crump's body was discovered. They later found human remains inside of the trunk of the burning car. And in April of this year, officers dispatched to the 2200 block of Rhawn Street were directed to the deceased body of an 8-month-old infant, later identified as Brandon Schaible.

Despite these incidents, residents say they generally feel safe in Somerton.

But employees of Compass Industries -- whose building neighbors the construction site where Crump's body was found -- say the graffiti-ridden, littered lot is a scary place to work beside.

"It's shocking that it happened, but not that shocking," Compass employee Stacy Wilson said. "I mean, I'm not surprised. It's a mess over there. People dump a lot of trash over there. That's why we had to put up barriers. With all the trees and everything, it's creepy out there at night."

Compass manager Lou Pompilio said an incident like this was bound to happen in the neglected lot.

"We've always said it's just a matter of time before somebody gets killed back here. We knew it was gonna happen," Pompilio said.

Department of Licenses and Inspections spokesman Rebecca Swanson says, the construction site, located across the street from the sporting fields of George Washington High School, has numerous violations listed.

"We cited them back in April for having trash at the site and they've had multiple cases open for the trash and the weeds," Swanson said.

According to Swanson, the property owner will be taken to court if the violations are not in compliance by the third inspection, which is pending. And ultimately, Swanson said, the upkeep of the property is the responsibility of the property owner.

"L&I's role is to inspect and to write violations when they are found. If there is a property maintenance issue, it always goes back to the owner of the property and they have to be responsible for taking care of their property and that's really what it comes down to," she said.

Crump, a recent graduate and former junior varsity basketball player at George Washington High, was a jovial teen according to his family.

"He was a pleasant kid; he was always smiling. I never really see him and anyone getting into a fight,” Crump’s stepfather Kareem Kaba said. “Every time he was at the house he was always playing video games with his brother.”

Initially, police looked into a threat posted on Crump’s Facebook page ten days before the murder where he argued with anotherd another young male.

Kaba says he doesn’t know the details of the spat but said police are looking into the quarrel.

"With the altercation, we really don't even know why or what was the reasoning or what went down between them, but the police are working on that now,” he said. “He really wasn't one of the kids that was all over the place and it’s just sad to see such a thing happen."

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