Argument over dog droppings turns deadly


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. ••


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