Would-be teacher shot dead in Philadelphia

June 15, 2008 9:48:11 PM PDT
A young teacher's hopes and life cut tragically short by a callous killer. Usually it's criminals killing criminals. But not in this case.

The young man was walking home through the Italian Market when he was shot in the neck not far from his house.

One detective says the victim, Beau Zabel, never had a chance. It appears he may have been shot from behind.

In a phone interview from Iowa, Zabel's sister, Natasha Newcomb, struggles to understand why her brother is dead. "He died needlessly for something but we don't know why. But it apparently it happened very quickly," she said.

Zabel's family says he loved to smile, and he was a friend to everyone and anyone.

The 23-year-old arrived here in the city just a couple of months ago. He was studying for his Master's degree from Drexel, but more importantly, he'd recently earned a position with the city's Teaching Fellows Program. His family says he dreamed of teaching math in the inner city. But sadly his tenure ended before it started.

"He really wanted to teach there. I'm not sure why Philly, but that was that was the one. That was the one," said Natasha.

Police suspect robbery. Zabel was walking home from his job at Starbucks a few blocks away.

Late Sunday night, the Italian Market where he was gunned down was bustling with activity.

So far police have no suspects. Anyone with information is urged to call the Philadelphia Police.