One brother in custody for SEPTA El shooting

Eric and Matthew Early
December 17, 2012 2:53:30 PM PST
One of the two brothers being sought in connection with a shooting on the SEPTA El train following a 76ers game last week is in custody.

Eric Early, 16, was detained by police on Monday morning. Both he and his brother, 18-year-old Matthew Early, of the 100 block of South 49th Street, were wanted for the shooting on Wednesday night which was caught on surveillance camera.

Police said Matthew Early was the gunman in this case. He has not been located.

Eric Early was charged on Monday with Aggravated Assault and related offenses

VIDEO: Watch the video on the PhillyPolice.com YouTube page

Police say the victims, a 36-year-old man and a 30-year-old man, got onto the westbound SEPTA El at 15th and Market streets around 10:40 p.m.

While on the train, an argument erupted. Investigators say the victims were fans of the Chicago Bulls and were celebrating the team's victory.

Lieutenant John Walker from West Detectives told Action News on Thursday, "It escalates when the young males began to use profanity. The [36]-year-old says, 'listen man, this train is filled with people - there's young kids, there's ladies on here. You need to watch your mouth, young boy.'"

At about one minute into the surveillance video, the train stops at 46th and Market Street and the Early brothers exit onto the platform.

Surveillance cameras were rolling as one of the brothers, identified by police as Matthew Early, turned around, pulled out a gun, and fired.

Another camera showed the victim being hit and falling to the ground as the gunman, and his brother, flee.

That bullet went through that victim's stomach and hit the 30-year-old man in the right thigh.

Both victims are expected to survive. Police say the 36-year-old victim rode the El train to 52nd Street, got off and went to a friend's house. That friend then drove him to the hospital.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Philadelphia Police at 215-686-TIPS (8477), send a text message to PPD TIP (773847) or through phillypolice.com.


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