Charges dropped against younger brother in SEPTA shooting

Eric and Matthew Early

January 3, 2013 2:35:39 PM PST
The younger of two brothers held in connection with a shooting on a SEPTA platform over a basketball game will no longer face charges.

During a court hearing Thursday morning prosecutors announced that they were dropping the charges against 17-year-old Eric Early.

Eric's older brother, Matthew Early, remains in custody.

Eric Early was detained on Monday December 17, 2012 and charged with Aggravated Assault and related offenses. 18-year-old Matthew Early was arrested last Friday at a friend's house in North Philadelphia.

Police say Matthew and Eric were on the Market-Frankford Line after the 76ers loss to the Chicago Bulls on December 12th when an argument ignited between the brothers and a Chicago Bulls fan.

Surveillance cameras captured the altercation. Cameras continued to roll as the doors opened and the brothers exited onto the platform at the 46th Street Station, where police say Matthew Early can be seen pulling a gun and opening fire on the crowded train car, hitting two men.

Lieutenant John Walker from West Detectives told Action News, "It escalates when the young males began to use profanity. The [36]-year-old says, 'listen man, this train is filled with people - there's young kids, there's ladies on here. You need to watch your mouth, young boy.'"

That bullet went through one victim's stomach and hit the other victim in the right thigh. Both victims are expected to survive.