I Can't Breathe: Temple University Student Called 911 After Being Shot in Apparent Robbery at Off-Campus Apartment

The student — identified Sunday by university officials as 21-year-old Daniel Duignam — was shot three times just after 9 p.m. Saturday in his apartment at 17th and Diamond streets in North Philadelphia, police said.

Moments after being shot three times inside his North Philadelphia apartment, a Temple University student called 911 pleading for help.

Daniel Duignam, 21, told an emergency dispatcher that he "couldn't breathe" when he pleaded for help Saturday night, Philadelphia Police Capt. John Ryan said.

When police and paramedics arrived to his apartment on the 1700 block of Diamond Street moments later, Duignam had already died.

Duignam was shot once each in the stomach, right arm, and face during an apparent robbery around 9 p.m. that night, police said.

"We believe it was a robbery. We believe that it was done by somebody he knew," Ryan, the head of the Homicide Unit, said during a news conference Monday morning.

Ryan said there are no signs of forced entry into the apartment, which is part of a former single family rowhome that has been converted into off-campus student housing.

The door was also locked when police arrived and there were no bullet shell casings left in the apartment, Ryan said, adding that either the shooter collected them or that a revolver was used. Police are waiting for ballistics test results to make that determination.

Duignam, a third-year business major at nearby Temple University, did fight the person who shot him, Ryan said. The apartment was ransacked and investigators believe money was taken, but have yet to make a final determination.

Ryan said detectives have yet to identify a suspect, or suspects, in the killing. They are reviewing surveillance video from the area. As is standard in homicide cases, the city is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

It's not clear if anyone else in the apartment building heard the struggle or shooting, but a block captain told NBC10 that Saturday was a quiet night. Many students have already left for summer break.

Duignam had one last final to take before finishing up the school year, Ryan said. He was studying risk management and insurance, according to LinkedIn. A native of Northampton County, Pennsylvania, his grandfather is the former mayor of his hometown, Tatamy.

Ryan described Duignam as a "good kid" with no prior history with police.

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