After the tragically violent shooting death of 27-year-old Shane Kelly, small and usually quiet Hewson Street in Fishtown filled with mourners on Monday night.
More than 100 people filled the street where the Mayfair resident had collapsed, the victim of a failed robbery last weekend.
There were tears and soft voices among the mourners; many held candles that cast a gentle glow on the evening vigil.
During the neighborhood memorial, Maryelise Doyne, Kelly’s girlfriend — who was with him when he was shot to death on Sunday night — tearfully addressed the gathering of friends, neighbors and family who came out to show their support.
“Even if you’re not religious, please pray he didn’t suffer,” she said softly, surrounded by members of Kelly’s family. “And pray he’s with God.”
Kelly died of the wounds he suffered while thwarting the robbers just after 12:30 a.m. on the 1300 block of Hewson St. The two thieves confronted Kelly and Doyne, a lifelong Fishtown resident, as they returned home from an evening out.
Officer Jillian Russell, a Philadelphia Police Department spokeswoman, said Kelly resisted the duo. But as the thieves fled, one turned and fired several shots at Kelly, Russell said.
Kelly, who lived on the 6300 block of Crafton St. in Mayfair, was hit several times in the chest and collapsed. He was pronounced dead at about 4:48 a.m. at Temple University Hospital.
An investigation led to the arrest of a suspect in the case, Ryan McManus, 20, of the 2600 block of Sepviva St. According to Russell, McManus was taken into custody at his residence.
He has been charged with murder. On Monday, police were seeking another man they believe was involved in Kelly’s slaying.
The victim was an active member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 61. Some of the mourners at the Fishtown vigil wore T-shirts and sweatshirts with the AOH logo.
In an interview earlier that day, AOH member Mike McCrane said he had known Kelly as a dedicated member of the organization. Kelly also organized regular softball and Wiffle ball tournaments and served as a soccer coach for the group.
ldquo;He helped out all the charities we had. He was a great member,” said McCrane. “He was a great guy and he meant a lot to our organization.”
During the Monday night gathering, A.J. Thomson, a resident and community organizer, told the people that he never thought his children would attend a vigil for a man slain so close to their neighborhood home.
ldquo;He shouldn’t have had to die on the street where I was a paperboy,” Thomson said of Kelly. “He lost his life in Fishtown and we are here to remember him.”
Throughout the vigil, the people were relatively silent. The shuffling of feet often was the only sound heard when mourners moved down Hewson Street from Thompson Street to the spot where Kelly was shot and fell.
ldquo;This has rocked this community to the core,” said Margi Megill, a Fishtown resident who didn’t know Kelly but wanted to offer her condolences.
ldquo;I can’t believe this happened on these streets that I consider safe,” she said. ••
Relatives and friends are invited to Shane’s Life Celebration on Thursday evening from 6 to 9 and on Friday morning from 8:15 to 9:15 at the John F. Givnish Funeral Home, 10975 Academy Road. His funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. at the Church of St. Martha, 11301 Academy Road, with burial in Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Reporter Hayden Mitman can be reached at 215-354-3124 or firstname.lastname@example.org