New Jersey

Shooter Intervenes in Couple's Fight, Kills Man Along Drexel's Campus, Police Say

A man who intervened in a couple’s fight shot a boyfriend dead on Lancaster Avenue along Drexel University’s campus overnight, Philadelphia police said.

The couple, a 22-year-old Paoli woman who attends Drexel, according to the university, and 21-year-old Merlos Mukaj, who goes to college in New Jersey, got into a heated argument as they walked along the 3500 block of Lancaster Avenue in University City around 11:40 p.m. Tuesday, Philadelphia Police said.

That’s when 24-year-old Joseph Howanski intervened and the situation escalated, police said.

"They definitely didn’t know each other," police Lt. John Walker, of Southwest Detectives said, "It just appears to be an argument between the male and the female and, it looks like, he intervenes in that argument and for some reason pulls his gun and fires it three time."

Mukaj was pronounced dead at a short time later at the Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center, according to a report.

Howanski, who lives on Hamilton Street in Philadelphia, was arrested and charged with murder and related offenses, police said.

This story has been updated to show that the woman involved attends Drexel University.

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