Man shot to death after answering door at Northeast Philadelphia home was elementary school staffer

The victim has been identified as 33-year-old Bilal Henry

Saturday, December 30, 2023
Man identified after being shot, killed in doorway of Northeast Philadelphia home
Man identified after being shot, killed in doorway of Northeast Philadelphia home

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man is dead after being ambushed at his front door in Northeast Philadelphia Thursday night.

Police say the victim, identified as 33-year-old Bilal Henry, was shot and killed, with his family hearing the deadly gunshots from upstairs.

The 911 calls started coming in around 11:30 p.m. for gunshots at the Regency Townhomes on Woodhaven Road in Northeast Philadelphia.

Bilal Henry

"According to family, they heard a knock on the front door, and when this 33-year-old answered the door, that's when family heard multiple gunshots, and that's when they realized the 33-year-old was shot," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Arriving officers went inside one of the units and found Henry lying on the floor just a few feet from his front door. The father was shot multiple times and pronounced dead.

Neighbors describe hearing multiple gunshots. Police believe at least 13 shots were fired.

Investigators say evidence shows that the shooter(s) were firing from outside the door and then went in and continued firing. Police say it does not appear anything was stolen or ransacked.

Henry's family was home at the time, including children under the age of 10. They were on the second floor with their mother at the time and they were not physically hurt.

"I used to work with him at a retail store about a couple years ago. I mean he's a really nice guy. From what I know, he has two young kids. My son knows his kids," said Kyle Rzepski.

Witnesses say they saw two males wearing dark clothing running from the scene, possibly getting into a white vehicle.

Police say they are looking for surveillance footage and more information to learn more about who was behind this. The home did not appear to be ransacked.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

"Mr. B" was staff member at Mayfair Elementary

The School District of Philadelphia confirmed that Henry was a staffer at Mayfair Elementary School, where he was known as "Mr. B."

In a letter to families, Principal William Day said Henry had been a climate staff member since 2018.

"Mr. B has supported our younger students and our Socialized Recess where he played basketball and taught the lessons on fairness and having fun while playing. He will be deeply missed and our condolences go out to his children, family, students, our staff and entire school community," Day wrote.

The district will have the Emergency Crisis Response team from the Office of Prevention and Intervention onsite once students return from break to provide support.

"Which includes bringing mental health professionals to work with students and staff as needed as they grieve and process this tragic loss," Day wrote.

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