2 dead, 1 hospitalized after West Philadelphia shooting

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May 2, 2014 2:39:43 PM PDT
A father and husband to be was gunned down outside a West Philadelphia bar. He was one of three people shot after a fight spilled into the street early Friday morning.

Homicide detectives are working to identify the gunman, and the family of an innocent bystander hopes they find the killer soon and bring him to justice.

52-year-old James Byrd went out late last night to pick up some food for his fiancee, Sharon Jones. He was passing the Mark V Lounge when a fight spilled out onto the sidewalk.

One man pulled a gun and started shooting.

James Byrd was hit in the head and chest.

The barrage of bullets also killed 27-year old Dante Brown, who police believe was the intended target.

Another man, 23-year-old Ronald Edwards, is in critical condition with a bullet wound to the chest.

The gunman fled, leaving a hole that has ripped through the hearts of James Byrd's family and friends.

His daughter Jakella Byrd described him as, "Loving, he was a military man, loved football - he was a people person. Everybody loved him."

James Byrd leaves behind a daughter, two stepsons, his fiancee and 13 grandchildren.

Sharon has been with James for over 30 years and they were planning to be married in a few weeks.

Now, she says she's been left with nothing.

Jones tells us, "He was always there with me. You know, we sat up at night, we played cards? now there's no one there. It's gone? it's gone."

Byrd's family says he was generous to a fault and was loved by everyone in his Mill Creek neighborhood. They are now heartbroken and hoping for justice.

Barbara Crawford, Byrd's sister-in-law, says, "He was an innocent bystander. He helped everybody - everybody. He was a good man. And whoever done this... I can't speak."

Police didn't get much of a description of the gunman, only that he was bald. They are interviewing witnesses now and hoping to hear from anyone who might have helpful information.

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