South Philadelphia

Gunman who killed NJ man outside South Philly cheesesteak shop learns his fate

The 36-year-old man who killed David Padro, Jr., of Camden, New Jersey, outside the popular South Philadelphia tourist destination, Pat's King of Steaks, was sentenced on Wednesday

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What to Know

  • Paul Burkert of Reading has been sentenced to serve up to ten years in prison for the 2021 shooting death of 23-year-old David Padro Jr. outside of Pat's King of Steaks in South Philly.
  • Padro was shot in the lower back after being involved in a physical altercation with Burkert over a minor vehicle incident.
  • Cell phone video of the incident that led to Padro's death showed the men engages in a violent confrontation while surrounded by customers outside the cheesesteak shop.

In a courtroom, that was often quiet, except for the soft sobs from the victim's family, Paul Burkert, the gunman who killed a Camden man outside of Pat's King of Steaks in South Philadelphia in 2021, was sentenced to prison on Wednesday.

In the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, Judge Charles Ehrlich sentenced Burkert, 36, of Reading, to serve between three-and-a-half and 10 years in prison for the slaying of 23-year-old David Padro, Jr., of Camden, New Jersey.

Earlier this year, Burkert -- along with his then girlfriend, Jamie Frick, 36, of Newmanstown -- both pleaded guilty to taking part in Padro's death.

Padro died after he was shot in the lower back by Burkert after the two got into a physical altercation outside of Pat's King of Steaks in South Philadelphia, on July 22, 2021. The altercation allegedly arose after Burkert tapped Padro’s car outside the restaurant.

Burkert was sentenced on manslaughter charges -- prosecutors dropped the more serious murder charge due to the guilty plea.

He also received three to six years in prison on gun charges as well as being sentenced to serve five years of probation.

Burkhert was prohibited from owning a gun due to a previous drug conviction.

Frick, who pleaded guilty to simple assault and related charges for her role in the incident, was sentenced to serve two years of probation.

In court, members of Padro's family painted him as a loving son and brother, who had hoped to one day become a police officer.

In a victim impact statement, Padro's stepbrother, Reynaldo Gonzalez, told the court that he lost a piece of himself when Padro died.

"The last thing he said to me was, 'I love you bro… if I see you or not, you're always going to be my brother'," Gonzalez remembered. "He wasn't just a brother. He was my best friend."

In court, Burkert took a moment to tell the gathered members of the victim's family that he regretted his actions that day.

"I sit in my jail cell everyday thinking about this," he said.

Along with the prison sentence, Burkert was ordered to pay the victim's family more than $6,000 in restitution.

Padro's family has suggested that they may pursue a civil case in the near future.

When contacted to talk about this case and any security measures taken since, representatives of Pat's King of Steaks had no comment.

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