Exclusive: Man killed in Port Richmond hit-and-run may have been targeted, sources say

Philadelphia Police say homicide investigators are now looking for a driver that fled the scene after striking and killing a man in Port Richmond. 

Law enforcement sources tell FOX 29 the victim was intentionally struck. Family members identified the victim as Jason "Jay" Panas, 40, a husband and father to 22-year-old and 19-year-old girls, and a 17-year-old son."

"I just want to know who did this and why, just why, because there’s no reason," his wife Melissa Panas said. "It’s this city, these people are savages anymore, I don’t even want to live here anymore, it’s just outrageous."

The incident occurred shortly after midnight Friday morning at Cedar and Westmoreland streets, while Panas was simply walking with two of his friends to get cigarettes, according to his family.

A law enforcement source tells FOX 29 a white Cadillac passed the group, made a u-turn, and intentionally struck Panas, who died from his injuries. His friend was also struck and injured.

Police say the Cadillac then drove off westbound on Westmoreland Street.

"He literally just helped everybody, I just don’t understand why, he didn’t even say anything back to them, so there’s no need," his daughter Shayla Panas said.

Panas’ family believes someone in the Cadillac might have yelled something to them before the crash. The third friend, that was not injured, ran to Panas’ home to alert his wife.

"I ran up but he was already kind of gone at that point," she said.

Panas’ extended family collectively lost several family members in recent years, including Jason’s cousin, who was killed in a hit-and-run in June.

"Everyone says they’ll catch them and you’ll get justice -- that’s not justice, he’s still dead – so I don’t think there really is justice," Melissa said.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police.




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