Argument on SEPTA bus leads to deadly shooting in Oxford Circle, police say

The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Sawee Kofa

Monday, March 4, 2024
Argument on SEPTA bus leads to deadly Philadelphia shooting
Argument on SEPTA bus leads to deadly Philadelphia shooting in Oxford Circle, police say

PHILADLEPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police have identified the man who was shot to death following an argument on a SEPTA bus Sunday night in the city's Oxford Circle neighborhood.

The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Sawee Kofa, of the 800 block of Fanshawe Street, according to police.

SEPTA Transit Police said the suspect shot Kofa after both of them got off of the Route 59 bus at the intersection of Castor Avenue and Comly Street at around 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

Philadelphia police investigators said the victim was found two streets over at Castor and Van Kirk.

"Our victim got off and the suspect came out right behind him," said Captain Anthony Ginaldi, with the Philadelphia Police Department. "There was an exchange of words out there as well, as they were getting off the bus and the suspect produced a handgun and shot our victim at least twice that we know of."

Police said multiple 911 calls came in about the shooting out in front of the Burger King at that intersection.

Police and medics found Kofa dead on the street after they said the suspect shot him in the face and chest.

The suspect ran off after shooting the victim, investigators said.

"My nephew is gone and we need justice. Seriously, we need justice," said Joseph Kofa, the victim's uncle.

Kofa's family moved to Philadelphia in 2001 escaping civil war in their native Liberia.

"We escaped the war in our country just to come for my nephew to be...and that a gun take him away. It's just like we're reliving the trauma again," said Kofa's aunt, Walea Kofa-Payne.

Kofa's father called his son's death senseless.

"Simple arguments and stuff like shouldn't involve guns. There's no need for guns in such situations," said Sawee Kofa Sr.

Police believe the men initially got on the SEPTA bus at the Arrott Transportation Center in the city's Frankford section.

Shortly after the shooting, police were able to stop the SEPTA bus down the street at Castor and Magee avenues.

They're working to gather evidence at two scenes, including the shooting on the street and inside the bus itself.

"The inside of the bus is considered a scene because our victim and our suspect were on the bus so there's going to be evidence inside that bus of the victim and suspect," Ginaldi said.

SEPTA transit police are sharing video with Philadelphia police, according to SEPTA officials, and said that based off of surveillance video there did not appear to be a confrontation.

However, Philadelphia police said witnesses told them there was an exchange of words on the bus.

Investigators have not yet released a description of the suspect.

"Wherever the person is we'd like for them to come out and be responsible for their actions," said Kofa-Payne.

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