2 Men Face Murder Charges in Philly Auto Body Shop Owner's Death by Stray Bullets

Eric Smith and Shabazz Sweets face murder charges in the April 11 shooting death of Michael Gleba.

What to Know

  • The owner of a Philadelphia auto repair shop was struck and killed by stray bullets while working on a car outside his business April 11.
  • Two men, Eric Smith and Shabazz Sweets, face murder charges in Michael Gleba's death.

Two weeks after the owner of a Philadelphia auto repair shop and grandfather was struck and killed by stray bullets while working on a car outside his business, police have charged two men with murder.

Eric Smith, 25, and Shabazz Sweets, 19, face murder, criminal conspiracy and weapons charges in Michael Gleba's April 11 shooting death. Sweets also faces attempted murder counts, according to court records.

Stray Bullet Shooting Benner sTreet Eric Smith Shabazz Sweets
Philadelphia Police Department
Eric Smith (left) and Shabazz Sweets are accused of murder in the killing of auto body shop owner Michael Gleba.

Gleba, the 56-year-old owner of Northeast Speedometer Services on Benner Street in the Wissinoming neighborhood was doing work on a vehicle around 3:15 p.m. when multiple gunmen fired about 15 shots at another group down the street. Gleba, who police say was not the intended target, was struck multiple times in the upper body.

He was taken to Frankford-Torresdale Hospital where he died less than an hour later.

Those who knew Gleba, who lived in Bensalem at the time of his death, described him as a grandfather who loved fishing and giving back to the neighborhood. He would fix kids' bicycles, give food to neighbors who didn't have any and helped out customers who didn't have enough money for car repairs.

"Mike looked out for my family when I lost my father," Paul Britton told NBC10. "My mom didn't have the money to get a truck fixed. Mike looked out for us, took care of my mom, fixed our truck for us. Didn't expect nothing back."

Michael Gleba
Family Photo, NBC10

One other person was shot in the arm during the shooting, which police said was related to an ongoing fight over drugs between two houses on the block. Children were outside when the shooting began, police said.

Another deadly shooting occurred less than a mile away that same day. Police say Timothy Sherfield, 28, and James MacGregor, 20, shot and killed Izeem Hunter, 23, inside a mini market on the 5500 block of Torresdale Avenue. Investigators believe Sherfield and MacGregor were looking for revenge for the shooting near the auto shop. Both men were arrested last week.

Sweets and Smith were each held without bail. A court-appointed attorney for Smith said he had only just been assigned to the case Thursday and couldn't comment. A message for Sweets' attorney wasn't immediately returned.

Police didn't say if they are looking for any other suspects in Gleba's death.

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