PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Police are searching for a man they say raped a woman at gunpoint in University City overnight.
Shortly after 4 a.m. on Saturday, officers responded to the 3100 block of Walnut Street for a report of a sexual assault.
A 38-year-old woman told responding officers that she was sitting inside her vehicle looking for her purse when an unknown man entered, brandishing a firearm. The victim was then allegedly raped at gunpoint.
Police say the suspect fled in an unknown direction following the assault.
"Oh my word, that's so scary!" Sofia Trueax exclaimed.
Trueax lived on the 3100 block of Walnut Street in University City for three years and was taken aback learning a woman was raped at gunpoint.
"It's so scary. I have a new baby and thinking about riding around and walking with him in a stroller, I would think who are the perpetrators who are out here?" Trueax stated.
"That's unbelievable! Just not what you'd expect to hear in this area. I think it's a quite nice and safe area, in general," said resident Ryan Lott.
Longtime residents say the area, which houses many Penn and Drexel students, seems like an unlikely place for such a devastating assault.
"I feel like there should be a lot more surveillance going around, even in the areas, cause people assume that just cause it's a better area, things like this won't happen, but it still does," said Giulianna Romero.
Fox 29 spoke with residents and women, especially, say they plan to be more aware of their surroundings, no matter the time of day or night.
"I tend to walk with my headphones, so I don't think I'll do that again, just to be sure that I look around and make sure that things look safe and normal," Trueax said.
Authorities describe the suspect as a black man, approximately 25 years old, with a goatee and large build. He was reportedly wearing a black hoodie with black pants.
Anyone with information on the alleged assault or suspect is urged to contact police.
Tips can be submitted by calling 215-686-TIPS (8477) or texting PPD TIP (773847). Tips can also be submitted anonymously online. All tips are confidential.
For resources for victims of violence in Philadelphia, see here.