Search for suspect in Schuylkill shooting

UNIVERSITY CITY - October 6, 2008 A 41-year-old man, identified as Thomas Timko of Glendora, New Jersey, was shot in the head around 8:45 p.m. Sunday as he drove his SUV near Passyunk Avenue.

The bullets barely missed his 8-year-old daughter, who was riding in the backseat.

Monday night, that girl's mother spoke to Action News.

"You can't imagine anything like this happening to you, and when it does... you can't believe it. I still can't believe this happened," said the girl's mother, who does not want to be identified. She did tell Action News she is Timko's ex-girlfriend, and they have two children together.

There have been no arrests yet, and no word as to who may have pulled the trigger.

Timko remains in critical condition after overnight surgery with a gunshot wound to the head after someone fired four shots into the side of Timko's Toyota SUV.

Police say Timko lives with a female friend in Glendora. He was driving that friend's car, and had just crossed the Walt Whitman bridge to take his daughter back to Norristown after a weekend visit.

Police think there might have been some kind of incident at the tolls before the Walt Whitman Bridge, and the shooting could have been the result of road rage.

Monday night, South Detectives told Action News they may have an image of the suspect's car from a camera at the bridge, and they will be analzying that video.

Police say, once on the Schuylkill, Timko pulled off the road, then pulled back onto the highway. At some point, investigators say, he became involved in a conflict with another driver.

"We know, based on some account of what happened, he was motioning out the window in some fashion," said Lt. Frank Vanore of the Philadelphia Police. "So, we're taking that to mean he could have been going back and forth with another driver."

Police are asking for the public's help.

"We need to know if anyone saw something that involved that Toyota Highlander, another vehicle, or anything in that particular area," said Lt. Vanore.

The girl's mother says her daughter is forever changed after watching her own father get shot.

"I believe she's still in shock. She hasn't really shed a tear," the girl's mother said.

"She looked at him, seeing the blood coming out of his head and she opened the door and started yelling for help and thank God somebody pulled over and stopped to help."

The little girl is being praised for acting so quickly.

"She saved his life. She is a hero. I'm so proud of her."

Police said Timko was shot with a .40 semi-automatic handgun. Two bullets holes can be seen in the side of the Toyota, one through the window, and one bullet hole is in the driver side head rest.

If you know anything that may help police in this case, call 215-686-TIPS.

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