PHA employee shot in North Philadelphia

July 25, 2009 4:48:45 PM PDT
A Philadelphia Housing Authority employee is fighting for his life after a shooting. It appears to be a case of mistaken identity.

46-year-old carpenter Rodney Barnes of Elkins Park was going to his truck just before 2:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon when he was shot in the head.

"He was outside getting tools from his vehicle. An unknown person drove up in a vehicle and just shot him in the back of the head for no reason at all," Chief Richard Zappile of the PHA Police said.

"He was an outstanding guy. He would do anything for anyone," Mark Durkalec of the carpenters union said.

Homicide detectives are now investigating.

One theory is that today's shooting could be related to a shooting that occurred yesterday, a little more than a block from here.

Two suspects are in custody from that incident. The victim is expected to recover.

The two shootings leave neighbors shaking their heads.

"They took their time to come out and help us fix whatever we need done in the house so you should let them do their job and go about their business; they're helping us out," Keema Felton said.

Barnes had been working for PHA in this neighborhood every other weekend for about 6 months.

A union spokesman says it used to be tough to get workers to come here, but in this economy, that changed.

"Right now there are a lot of carpenters out of work, so right now we're not having any problem manning our jobs out here," Durkalec said.

Barnes is undergoing emergency surgery.

Sources say there may be surveillance video of the shooting. Police are looking for witnesses and anyone with more information.