Delaware County

Police Shootout Near SEPTA's 69th Street Terminal Follows Killing

The main terminal at SEPTA's 69th Street Transportation Center was impacted Thursday morning as police investigated a shootout that happened outside the station

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NBC10’s Randy Gyllenhaal reports from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, Thursday after a man who police say shot and killed a woman inside an apartment ran outside and began firing wildly, striking a bystander. SEPTA police then engaged the man in a gun battle. Transportation from the busy terminal was slowed throughout the morning.

What to Know

  • SEPTA police officers exchanged gunfire with a gunman -- who police say had earlier shot and killed a women -- outside the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, Thursday morning.
  • No one was hurt in the shootout, SEPTA and police said. However, commuters were told expect delays and changes to how they access the train, bus or trolley due to a large police presence.
  • Check your SEPTA schedule before you head out the door.

Editor's Note (Dec. 3, 2021 at 2:33 p.m.): Authorities on Friday identified the suspect as David Savage and called the killing "a brutal, brutal murder."

SEPTA police officers and a gunman -- suspected to have already killed a woman he knew and shot a passerby -- exchanged gunfire outside Upper Darby's 69th Street Transportation Center before the Thursday morning rush.

No one was hurt in the police shootout before 4 a.m., but SEPTA warned commuters of the potential for delays and changes to how they get to trains, buses and trolleys at the busy Delaware County terminal as a large police presence investigated through the morning.

Here is what happened to lead to the commuter slowdown, according to Upper Darby police: Around 3:30 a.m., the gunman shot a woman who was later found dead inside a nearby apartment on Terminal Square. After that shooting, he walked outside and started firing into the air.

The man then shot a a passerby on Market Street, Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said. The man he shot in the shoulder was left with non-life-threatening injuries.

Transit agency police officers heard the gunfire outside the terminal and confronted the gunman near a pedestrian bridge at 69th Street station, police said. A gun battle ensued with officers exchanging gunfire with the man.

The gunman and the SEPTA police officers weren't struck by bullets, SEPTA and police said.

"Thank God those officers are all OK," Bernhardt said, while noting he believed the gunman wanted to be shot and killed by police.

The officers took the gunman into custody in a nearby alley.

The area around the SEPTA terminal normally gets busy as the day goes on.

"We are very fortunate the time of day it was, that it was 3:30 in the morning and it wasn't later in the morning, because there are a lot more people who are in this area as the day goes on," Bernhardt said.

Upper Darby police warned people to be aware of the closure of the area of 69th and Markets streets, which is right outside the station. The finally reopened that area just before noon.

Police could be seen marking dozens of pieces of evidence on the street and in the area around the pedestrian bridge. Bullet holes could be seen in nearby stores and cars. A bullet also struck a police vehicle.

“The quick and heroic action taken by SEPTA Transit Police officers at 69th Street Transportation Center this morning prevented an already tragic situation from potentially claiming more lives and serious injuries," SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel III said in a prepared statement.

SEPTA trolleys, trains and buses were running, but a lot of areas were closed. Two of the three bus terminals were closed and SEPTA workers were helping guide people to their trains and trolleys as the main terminal was open, but potentially not easy to access, a SEPTA spokesperson said as the morning rush got underway.

If you were looking to access the station, you were told to plan on doing more walking than normal.

Most SEPTA routes were back to normal by midday Thursday. Track your route on SEPTA's website.

Upper Darby police will investigate the deadly shooting in the apartment and the shooting on the street, Bernhardt said. The Delaware County District Attorney's Office will investigate the police shootout.


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