Last Call Killing at Philly Bar

A shooter waited until closing time at Delmar Bar and Lounge to rob the bartender and fatally shoot the barback, police say. A $20,000 is offered for information leading an arrest and conviction.

What to Know

  • A gunman shot and killed a bar worker after last call at Germantown's Delmar bar early Thursday. The robber made off with about $200 .
  • Police gathered evidence, including surveillance video that shows the shooter, who has a long goatee.
  • A $20,000 reward is being offered for an arrest and conviction.

UPDATE (March 23, 2019 7:30 p.m.): A person of interest was taken into police custody, Philadelphia police said Saturday.

A man having a drink at a Philadelphia bar turned into a killer at last call early Thursday.

The man who appears to be in his late 20s or early 30s was the only remaining customer inside Delmar Bar and Lounge along West Chelten Avenue in the city’s Germantown neighborhood just after 2 a.m. when he pulled out a gun and demanded the bartender and the barback hand over the money in the register, Philadelphia police said.

The gunman then shot the barback, Jeffrey Johnson, once in the chest, police said. The 58-year-old died a short time later at the hospital. Johnson had worked for several years as support for the bartenders at Delmar, often talking Philly sports with patrons, neighbors said.

As Johnson was leading patrons from the bar, the man had lagged behind. Once the others left the bar, the remaining man presented a gun.

Surveillance video released by police shows parts of the deadly incident including the man entering and exiting the bar, the man pointing his gun and the fatal gunshot. 

The gunman rifled through Johnson's pockets and took about $200 from the bartender, police said. The gunman ran off east on Chelten Avenue, police said.

The killer stands around 6-feet, 1-inch to 6-feet, 2-inches tall with a thin and athletic build and close cut black hair. His most descriptive feature is a long goatee that is long-enough to braid, police said.

Investigators hoped evidence would help them capture the killer.

"He did leave some clues behind — cups and straws — anything that was near him, of course, is being held as part of the crime scene," police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. "We will dust for prints, get any DNA evidence."

Neighbors told NBC10 they recognize the shooter from the neighborhood. They say he used to hang out at a bar around the corner.

Police didn’t reveal Thursday morning if the killer planned the robbery or took advantage of an opportunity.

Some of Johnson's coworkers left heart-shaped balloons outside the bar Thursday morning. They say Johnson had worked at Delmar dating back to the tavern's previous location.

As with any homicide, the city offered a $20,000 reward for an arrest and conviction of the gunman. Anyone with information is asked to call homicide detectives at 215-686-3334 or 3335. If you spot the gunman call 911.

You can also contact Philadelphia police.

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