Mechanic killed by stray bullet remembered as loving father; friend

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A mechanic killed by a stray bullet while working at his family's auto body shop in Philadelphia is being remembered as a loving individual by family and friends.

Police say 56-year-old Michael Gleba was struck in the stomach while he was working on a car.

It happened around 3 p.m Thursday on the 4800 Block of Benner Street in the Wissinoming section of the city.

Authorities said two rival groups fighting over drugs fired at least 15 shots on the block.

Officers took him to the hospital after he was hit, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

No arrests or weapons have been recovered, according to police.

"We were all in disbelief and It's still hard to digest at this point," said sister-in-law Bernadine Cohen.

She came by the shop to see the growing memorial outside.

"Nothing made him happier than to be surrounded by his family, Cohen said.

Some of Gleba's close friends and customers also stopped by to pay their respects.

"When I woke up this morning I seen it on the news and was devastated, almost didn't get up to go to work," said customer Bill Norris of Frankford.

Michael Roge said they were childhood friends.

"He'd do anything for you, give you the shirt off his back, it's really a shame, you know that he had to be in the middle of it, you know?" he said.

Authorities executed a search warrant at two homes on the block that may be connected to the shooters.

"We never really thought that something this tragic could happen to him," Cohen said.
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