Crimefighters: $44,000 reward in 2008 murder of Matthew Novak

March 23, 2013 7:23:48 PM PDT
Up to $44,000 is now being offered in the case of a young man gunned down after a night out with friends, four years ago.

On Sunday Sept. 28, 2008, 24-year-old Matthew Novak and two friends headed out to Philadelphia's annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.

His father remembers sending them off.

"He was in the backseat and he just looked at me and gave me one quick like this (hand gesture) on his way out and I gave him a quick wave," said Matt Novak Sr.

Later that evening the Novaks get the call every parent dreads.

"My son's been shot and try to get to Hahnemann Hospital as quickly as possible," said Novak.

In the emergency room, Matthew's friends try to fill the Novaks in on what happened.

They said their car broke down at 6th and Green streets in Northern Liberties.

Surveillance video shows a 2006-2008 blue Chevy Impala with New Jersey tags and three men inside stopping to help.

"At that point he flagged the car down and they pulled over. He came back to his friends he said I'll be back I'm getting jumper cables," said Novak.

Minutes later police say the men drove Matthew to the area of 13th and Fairmount and shot him as he was trying to get out of the car. He died later at the hospital.

"You don't quite know how to handle it. It's left a large hole in my heart," said Novak.

As the 5th year anniversary of Matthew's death approaches, his family hopes a hefty reward will finally lead to an arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

"At least half of it is to get justice for my son but the rest is to get these creeps off the street," said Novak.

Since our interview, the reward has grown.

The Citizens Crime Commission is now administering a $22,000 reward and the City of Philadelphia is offering up to $20,000 for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.

Tips can be made anonymously by calling to the Citizens Crime Commission hotline at 215-546-TIPS (8477) or the Philadelphia Police tip line at 215-686-TIPS (8477).