NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A $20,000 reward is offered for information leading to the person responsible for shooting to death a Temple University student inside his off-campus apartment Saturday night.
Monday is trash collection day on the 1700 block of W. Diamond Street and for longtime resident Romona Scott that meant a brief interaction with the quiet, young Temple University student who lived in the first floor apartment next-door.
“He would see me with a bag coming out,” said Scott. “He’d help if I was sweeping, he'd get a broom and dust pan and sweep, too. He put it out at the curbside every Monday—every Monday.”
On Saturday night, 21-year-old Daniel Duignam was shot to death inside his apartment— apparently by a man he had let in.
Police said Duignam himself reported the incident.
“He made the 911 call,” Homicide Division Captain Jack Ryan told reporters. “He was able to say he couldn’t breathe and that prompted rescue and police to respond.”
Captain Ryan said when authorities arrived, Duignam was dead from multiple gunshot wounds, the apartment was ransacked and money was gone from a small lockbox.
“We believe he knew who he was in the apartment with,” said Ryan. “It wasn’t like a home invasion or random thing where somebody breaks in and robbed him. It was somebody he was in the apartment with.”
Police would not say whether Duignam identified his attacker, nor would they say what images surveillance cameras on the block have provided.
This neighborhood is full of Temple student renters. Some of those students still around as the school year ends told FOX 29's Bruce Gordon the killing has shaken them and forced them to change their routine.
“Sort of just like checking up with people,” said Elliot Wambold. “Making sure people are making smart decisions like not walking alone—walking with groups.”
Juan Exposito, who lives right across the street from the murder scene, called the incident unnerving .
“That’s why we are moving. I told my parents I wanted to move somewhere safer onto Cecil B. Moore and stuff.”
Duignam was from tiny Tatamy Borough in Northampton County where his grandfather was a former mayor.
On Facebook, the current mayor called himself “beyond heartbroken” at news of the killing.
For Romona Scott who knew Duignam only from their Monday morning trash ritual she said, “It’s just sad, a loss like that at such a young age. It’s a sad situation.”
Temple is offering counseling for students. Daniel's death marks the sixth death of a Temple University student this school year.
Temple University President Richard Englert released a statement in regard to Duignam’s death, below:
To the Temple community:
I have some very sad news to report.
Daniel Duignam, 21, a third-year business student from Tatamy in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, was found dead just before 10 p.m. Saturday in his off-campus apartment on the 1700 block of Diamond Street. It appears Daniel died from gunshot wounds. Temple University Police and Philadelphia Police are investigating. While there are many questions yet to be answered, they do not believe that this was a random act. Temple University will enhance patrols in the areas surrounding campus as the investigation moves forward.
Anyone with information about Daniel’s death is urged to call 215-204-1234 or use the confidential tip line at 215-204-6493.
On behalf of everyone at Temple, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Daniel’s family and friends at this tragic time. They are in the thoughts and prayers of us all.
The death of a member of Temple University’s community takes an enormous emotional toll on all of us. That is especially true amid the stress that occurs during finals and the close of the academic year. I urge everyone to seek help should you experience difficulty during this time. Tuttleman Counseling Services will be open today (Sunday) from 1 to 4 p.m., and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Walk-in hours are available daily.