Police: Philadelphia District Attorney Office employee shoots, kills male prostitute

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed in broad daylight in Strawberry Mansion. Detectives say the man who pulled the trigger is an anti-violence worker with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

A poster on a pole along the 2600 block of North Napa Street urges an end to gun violence. Yellow police tape hangs nearby, the remnants of a shooting here Tuesday morning.

“I heard two shots. They were really loud gunshots. I didn’t think anything of it. Next thing I know, I hear lots of commotion around my window," neighbor Arnold Brown said.

He says he looks outside to see the area crowded with police. What he didn’t know is the admitted shooter is a 28-year-old anti-violence worker in the office of the Philadelphia District Attorney.

According to a spokesperson with the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the deceased is a 31-year-old male prostitute.

Police say the employee in the DA’s office tells investigators he paid 31-year-old Vernon Harris for sex in a car parked in the Napa Street lot. Afterwards, the employee claims Harris pulled a gun and tried to rob him, but the employee fired two shots from his own weapon killing Harris.

The case has been sent to the Pa. Attorney General for investigation.

The DA’s office said in a statement: “This is an active investigation that has been appropriately referred to another agency. We have no further comment at this time.”

A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office at first answered "no" to a question if the worker was on the clock, during the shooting, but later wrote she couldn’t answer that question suggesting it was part of the Attorney General’s probe.

On Twitter, U.S. Attorney William McSwain, a sharp critic of D.A. Larry Krasner, refers to the killing and writes:

“The destruction Krasner has wrought on that office is a tragedy.”


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