Philadelphia

Murder Charge for College Student in Stabbing of Philadelphia Real Estate Developer Near Rittenhouse Square

Michael White, 20, who turned himself in to police Friday night, is accused of stabbing Sean Schellenger, 37, during a dispute on a Center City street.

What to Know

  • A real estate developer died shortly after being stabbed in the back just one block from Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square late Thursday.
  • Schellenger was chief executive officer of Streamline, a real estate company in Philadelphia.
  • White is a college student at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, family says.

A college student who surrendered Friday night to authorities over the stabbing death of a Philadelphia real estate developer during a fight about street traffic has been charged with murder, police said Saturday.

Michael White, 20, turned himself at a South Philadelphia church, nearly 24 hours after the confrontation that killed real estate developer Sean Schellenger. After hugging his sobbing mother and wiping away his own tears, White walked out of True Gospel Tabernacle Family Church in South Philadelphia Friday evening into the custody of a half-dozen police officers.

Police did not release any other details about the charges against White or the incident itself. He is currently being held without bond.

White allegedly stabbed Schellenger, 37, at 17th and Chancellor streets, a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square.

Schellenger and two friends were riding in a Mercedes-Benz when they got stuck in traffic near The Warwick Hotel. Police said the men exited the car and got into an argument with another man over the traffic. A scuffle ensued that ended with Schellenger being stabbed in the back, police said. He later died at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

White is a college student at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, family says. He was making a food delivery on a bicycle at the time of the altercation, according to police.

White didn't speak to reporters gathered inside the church.

NBC Connecticut
Michael White speaks with family before turning himself over to police in the stabbing death of a real estate developer in the city's Rittenhouse section. See Larger

Bishop Ernest McNear, who worked with police to set up the peaceful surrender through a program at the church, said White is remorseful.

"He wanted to do the right thing and the family did, too," McNear said. The bishop and other program members said they will meet with White to provide him guidance as the case progresses.

W. Robert Turner
Sean Schellenger. See Larger

Schellenger was chief executive officer of Streamline, a real estate company in Philadelphia. The company's chief operating officer, Mike Stillwell, told NBC10 in an email, that he worked side-by-side with Schellenger for a decade.

"For 10 years, I spent every day with him - during work, after work, weekends, and every family vacation I had over the last five years, Sean was there," Stillwell said. "Now, he is gone." 

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