Delaware County

‘What Evil Looks Like:' Man in Upper Darby Police Shootout Charged

Authorities said the shooting spree seems to have stemmed from a case of Domestic Violence

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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.

A man accused of killing his girlfriend, wounding another man and engaging in a shootout with police near a Delaware County SEPTA station was charged Friday with murder and attempted murder.

David Savage, 45, is charged with first-degree murder for slaying his girlfriend, Latoya Gary, inside her Upper Darby apartment, as well as four counts of attempted murder for wounding a man, shooting at another person and firing at two SEPTA Police Department officers, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said.

“This was a brutal, brutal murder. This is what evil looks like. He put a gun to his girlfriend’s head, shot her in the head and killed her while she was in her apartment with her family members there present,” Stollsteimer said.

The shooting spree began Thursday morning when Savage went to Gary’s apartment on the 7000 block of Terminal Square and shot her dead, Upper Darby Police Department Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said.

The suspect then fled the apartment, ran to nearby Market Street, shot a man once in the shoulder and neck area and then proceeded to the 69th Street Transportation Center, where he shot at people entering the terminal before turning his attention to the SEPTA police officers, Bernhardt said.

A criminal complaint described Savage as firing multiple rounds as the officers pulled up in their cruiser. The officers returned fire from inside the vehicle and Savage ran off, according to the complaint.

The officers gave chase and arrested him after a physical struggle, Bernhardt said, adding that it appeared the suspect seemed intent on having the officers fire at him.

“To the SEPTA police officers: I want to credit their bravery, their courage and their restraint that they had in dealing with that,” the superintendent added.

The wounded man is “doing well” while recovering at a hospital after being grazed by one of Savage’s bullets, Bernhardt said.

The chain of events seems to have stemmed from a case of domestic violence, the police superintendent and district attorney said. Police officers had been called to the apartment before for incidents between Savage and the victim, who was in her 40s, Bernhardt noted.

He urged anyone suffering from domestic violence to reach out to the Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County for help.

Savage also has a past criminal record in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for aggravated assault, simple assault, making terroristic threats and weapons offenses, Bernhardt said. Because of his prior offenses, he is also being charged for being a felon in possession of a firearm, Stollsteimer added.

It was not immediately clear if Savage had retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

 If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), visiting www.thehotline.org or texting LOVEIS to 22522.