Aspiring teacher killed over iPod?

June 16, 2008 8:39:15 PM PDT
Authorities now say that the deadly shooting of an aspiring teacher in South Philadelphia early Sunday morning could have been an iPod robbery gone terribly wrong. That's how police are describing the attack on Beau Zabel at 8th and Ellsworth. Police are still trying to track down the gunman.

Family and friends told police that Zabel always had the iPod with him, and the pocket where he kept it was turned inside-out, police Capt. James Clark said at a Monday news conference. The music player was the only item that appeared to be missing; Zabel's backpack containing his wallet, identification and cash was not taken.

"We believe he possibly was followed to be a victim of a robbery and the robbery went terribly wrong and ultimately he was killed," Clark said.

Surveillance video released Monday afternoon appears to show Zabel buying a soda from a vending machine at Washington and Passyunk moments before he was murdered a few blocks away.

The same camera caught a possible suspect running up and down the street after the shooting occurred.

Zabel, who wanted to be a public school teacher, had just moved to Philadelphia a few weeks ago.

He died of from a single 9-mm bullet wound to the neck.

Beau Zabel was only 23. He moved here from Minnesota in early May to start the process of getting a teaching job in the Philadelphia school district.

He was killed just a block from the rowhouse where he was living with a roommate. He was heading home at 1:30 a.m. Sunday from his job at a South Street Starbucks when he has killed.

Late Monday afternoon his mother and other relatives who flew in from the midwest in the wake of this tragedy finished gathering his belongings and left without comment. His sister told Action news Zabel was convinced he was living in a safe neighborhood in the 9th Street market area.