A Frankford man has been charged with two counts of murder for the shooting deaths of a neighbor and the neighbor's girlfriend July 16, the Philadelphia District Attorney's office said Friday.
Kenneth Hoyle, 69, initially told police he felt threatened by Bob DePaul and August Dempsey during an argument on James Street in the early morning hours. Police said Hoyle told them the two were climbing a fence into his yard when he shot them.
"After thoroughly investigating the incident, Kenneth Hoyle was charged today," a spokesman for the district attorney's office said in an email. "Look forward to providing justice for the victims’ family."
Residents later told NBC10 that the shooting deaths were the culmination of a long-running dispute between Hoyle and DePaul.
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The incident occurred shortly before 2 a.m. on the 4700 block of James Street. Hoyle said he felt threatened and grabbed his gun. He then opened fire, shooting DePaul, 45, and Dempsey, 43. They both died from gunshot wounds to the head.
Sources told NBC10 the 69-year-old man called police immediately after the shooting. He was taken initially into custody but later released.
Residents say the man and DePaul were once friends but had been locked in an ongoing feud over the past few years. At one point the man even put up a wall between his porch and DePaul's.
“I know they didn’t get along,” Anna Szymanski told NBC10. “I don’t know why. But he was always nice to us.”
Dempsey, a mother of two, worked for the Philadelphia Parking Authority while DePaul, a father of four, was a maintenance worker.