Gunman in Shooting that Killed Philadelphia Shelter Employee Surrenders: Police

A man accused of shooting and killing an employee at a North Philadelphia homeless shelter surrendered to police Monday.

John Brock, 32, is in custody and faces murder and attempted murder charges.

Philadelphia Police
John Brock

Police said Brock stormed into the Station House, a men's homeless shelter on Broad Street near Lehigh Avenue, shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday and opened fire, killing one employee and wounding a second.

Brock, who had been residing at the shelter for the past 2 /1/2 months, was evicted from the facility for being intoxicated and breaking curfew Saturday around 1 a.m., investigators said. When Brock allegedly refused to leave police were called to the scene. Brock was then taken to Episcopal Hospital for evaluation. He returned to the shelter Sunday around 3:15 a.m. to collect his belongings, police said.

When Brock arrived, he was told by two employees at the desk that they did not have access to the room where his belongings were stored, according to investigators. After arguing with the employees, Brock left the facility and then returned. He then allegedly pulled out a gun and opened fire striking Edward Barksdale as well as a 26-year-old Lamont Barham.

Barksdale was struck in the left ear, left shoulder, left upper chest, left abdomen and right thigh. He was pronounced dead at the scene by medics. Barham was struck in the left hip. He was taken to Temple University Hospital where he is currently in stable condition.

"It was his hip and a bullet ended up in his stomach," said Barham's father Robert McCurdy. "It didn't mess anything up. He's going to have a full recovery." 

Barksdale and Barham worked as a residential aide and a shelter manager.

Residents of the shelter told NBC10's Drew Smith that they awoke to the sound of gunfire and saw one of the victims lying in a pool of blood and Brock running from the building.

Former Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode is the director at Station House. An emotional Goode spoke with reporters late Sunday morning at the shelter in the aftermath of the shooting. He said Barksdale was a good worker, well-loved by residents and had worked at Station House for several years. One resident said both victims were always helpful and kind.

Goode called the shooting tragic and said that security measures including searches of every person who enters the shelter are in place, but that there are no metal detectors. He said an investigation into whether increased security measures should be taken would begin in the wake of the shooting, and that Brock managed to avoid a search when he walked in with food services.

The former mayor ended a news conference abruptly, saying he was losing his composure.

Barksdale's family arrived at the shelter later Sunday morning. They declined to be interviewed, but a cousin told NBC10 off-camera that he was 43 years old and enjoyed his job helping homeless people

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement on the shooting Sunday afternoon.

"This morning a man who had dedicated his career to helping our City’s most vulnerable lost his life, and one of his co-workers was badly injured," Kenney wrote. "It’s a heartbreaking tragedy."

With dangerously cold temperatures moving into the region, shelter employees were concerned the crime scene inside the building could interfere with Code Blue intake Sunday night. The Station House is the only city homeless shelter that does after-hours intake for single men.

"I implore Philadelphians in need of shelter services to continue to utilize them as we enter a Code Blue this evening," Kenney said. "The City is squarely focused on your safety. If you know of a homeless person in need of shelter please call our 24-hour hotline at 215-232-1984.”

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