Grandfather shot to death over parking spot

July 9, 2008 8:50:37 PM PDT
Police in Reading, Pa. say they have filed murder charges against 56-year old Santiago Robles in connection with the shooting death of a neighbor who was killed in front of his grandchildren. Officials say 65-year old Herbert "Buddy" Rupp was shot after he tried to intervene in an argument between Robles and another neighbor over a storage locker. It happened on Maple Street just after 12:30 p.m.

Family members say the shooting happened in front of Rupp's two grandchildren, who were not hurt.

The crime scene tape may be gone and most of the blood washed away but the murder of Herbert Rupp is still fresh in the mind of witness Melissa Gonzalez.

"One he shot and missed him then he did 3 or 4 more after that," she said.

As Rupp fell to the ground, kids on the block scattered.

The motive appears to be an earlier altercation over a parking spot.

Santiago Robles had a handicapped parking space in front of his house. Neighbors say the city revoked it this week because he had off-street parking. Friends say Robles was convinced Rupp complained to the city. The feud reached a boiling point this morning.

"The one guy was on his porch, the other guy on his porch. They were both arguing back and forth. He (Robles) said 'don't worry about it, you'll be mines. You'll be mines today'," said neighbor Antonio Serrano.

Rupp left.

But then around noon, another argument broke out ending with Rupp in a pool of blood. Family members say the recently widowed 65-year old was a doting grandfather. His grandkids will now have to live with vivid images of him being gunned down on this Reading sidewalk.

After the shooting, Robles fled. A manhunt began but then around 4 p.m. he called authorities and agreed to turn himself in. He now faces murder charges.