Dad: “He's Gotta Go to Jail for Killing My Son”

Strong emotions, death threats come to police after Port Richmond shooting

Emotions continue to run high in a neighborhood torn by a shooting that left a man dead and an off-duty cop accused with murder.

"He's gotta go to jail for killing my only son," Bill Panas, Sr. screamed as he pointed towards the home of Frank Tepper. "He can't get away with murder, please don't let him get away with murder."

Tepper, a Philadelphia Police civil affairs officer, shot Panas' son Billy in the chest during a large fight along the 2700 block of Elkhart Street in Port Richmond Sunday night, investigators said.

Billy Panas, 21, was rushed to Temple University Hospital, but could not be saved.

Since the shooting, police and family and friends have offered differing chains of events leading to the shooting.

Investigators said Tepper left a family party to help break up a fight, but was jumped in the process causing him to discharge his weapon.

However, friends and witnesses said the off-duty officer got involved after his son started a fight with Panas.

"The officer's son started a problem with Billy. They began to fight," said friend Anthony Pickler. He and others said Tepper then pulled out his gun and shot Panas in the chest.

They claim Tepper never identified himself as a police officer and say he wasn't jumped.

"He never pulled out his badge, just waived his gun around," said Pickler.

A steady stream of family, friends and strangers made their way to the site of the shooting into the night Monday. Candles, stuffed animals and photos of Panas mark the spot of the tragedy.

Across the street, several uniformed officers stood a different sort of vigil in front of Tepper's home -- keeping protective watch.

Sources say two death threats were called into the Civil Affairs Unit Monday. One caller said they were going to "kill all Civil Affairs officers" while the other claimed they would do it on Christmas.

The Internal Affairs division is investigating the incident, police said. Tepper has been placed on desk duty until the investigation is closed.

Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, Panas' father just wants one thing: "I just want justice for my boy."

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