Real Estate Developer Stabbed to Death by Bicyclist Near Rittenhouse Square, Police Say

Sean Schellenger, 37, was identified as the man killed. He was CEO of a real estate development firm in Philadelphia.

What to Know

  • A man died shortly after being stabbed in the back just one block from Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square.
  • Witnesses told investigators an argument between the victim, who was riding in a car, and the suspect, who was riding a bike, escalated.
  • Police hoped surveillance video near 17th & Chancellor streets would help them track down the suspected killer who ran off.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: A suspect has surrendered to police for the stabbing.

A Philadelphia real estate developer died late Thursday after he was stabbed near Rittenhouse Square in Center City, possibly as he argued with a passing bicyclist during a traffic dispute.

The deadly argument may have erupted as the dead man and two others who had been in a car got out to see what was causing traffic, police said.

Sean Schellenger, 37, was identified as the man killed, police said. He died about 30 minutes after the stabbing, which occurred about 11 p.m. at 17th and Chancellor streets.

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 everyday with him: during work, after work, weekends, and every family vacation I had over the last 5 years sean was there," Stillwell said. "Now, he is gone." 

W. Robert Turner
Sean Schellenger. See Larger

Witnesses told investigators that a man on a bike and Schellenger got into a verbal argument, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

"According to witnesses, the male who may have been on a bicycle pulled knife and stabbed [Schellenger] at least one time in the back," Small said. "It appears that this started as a verbal argument possibly over congestion and traffic."

Witnesses tried to chase down the suspect, who was in a white shirt and black shorts, but they lost him around 18th Street, Small said.

Witnesses told investigators that the suspect left behind a mountain bike. A delivery bag could be seen next to the bike but investigators couldn’t say with certainty that he was making deliveries at the time, Small said.

Police hoped that business surveillance cameras could help give them a clearer picture of the killer.

A bicyclist pulled a knife on a 37-year-old man and stabbed him in the back after getting into an argument over traffic, Philadelphia police said.
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