Franklin Manuel Santana and his family had lived in Northeast Philadelphia for only a month. But that was plenty of time for Santana to find himself the victim of a loose cannon.
Santana’s neighbor, Tyrirk Harris, gunned down the Yonkers, N.Y., native in broad daylight on Feb. 14 in a dispute over dog droppings, Philadelphia police said.
Harris was charged with murder in connection with the shooting, while Santana’s wife, Raquel Burgos, was left to pack up and move the couple’s two daughters, one 14 years old and the other just 6 weeks old, out of the city for good.
The tragedy unfolded just after 4 p.m. on the 6500 block of Torresdale Ave. in Tacony. Santana, 47, and Harris, 27, lived in separate rowhouse apartments on the same block. Santana went to Harris’ place to complain about Harris having let his dogs defecate on Santana’s lawn.
A quarrel ensued on Harris’ front porch. Harris allegedly pulled a 9mm handgun from his hip and shot Santana repeatedly in the face and chest. Paramedics pronounced Santana dead at the scene.
Burgos reportedly heard the gunshots from inside her home, ran outside to find her husband slumping to the ground and used his mobile phone to call 911.
Police found Harris in the second-floor apartment he reportedly shared with a girlfriend. He allegedly had the murder weapon on his hip.
Police later determined that Harris had been licensed previously to carry the concealed weapon, but his permit had been revoked in January for undisclosed reasons.
According to published reports, Harris worked on a per diem basis for the School District of Philadelphia police from 2004 until last year, when he lost the job in a mass layoff.
Relatives and friends of the victim’s arrived at his house in the aftermath of the killing and told news reporters that Burgos planned to take her children to Florida to live with a relative. The couple had been living in the Miami area but moved to Philadelphia shortly after the birth of their younger daughter so that Santana could search for work in the home repair and improvement business, relatives said.
In addition to murder, Harris is charged with violating Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act and related offenses. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 29. ••EndFragment