Man shot and killed while driving in West Oak Lane, crashes into parked cars

Police say the driver was in the vehicle by himself. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Katherine Scott Image
Thursday, July 7, 2022
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First responders found 46-year-old James Freeman of New Castle, Delaware, slumped behind the driver seat of a GMC Denali.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man shot and killed while driving in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia crashed into several parked cars before ending up on a front lawn, police say.

Officers responded to 911 calls about a shooting on the 7400 block of Gilbert Street just after 8 p.m. Wednesday.

First responders found 46-year-old James Freeman of New Castle, Delaware, slumped behind the driver seat of a GMC Denali.

Police said Freeman was in the vehicle by himself. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

According to authorities, at least five shots were fired further south on the block near Washington Lane.

"When I was parking my truck around the corner, I heard a gunshot and a big bang," said Nate Shaw of West Oak Lane.

Witnesses say the shooter walked up to the driver's side door of the Denali and fired multiple times.

The suspect was last seen going south on Gilbert toward Washington Lane.

After being shot, police say Freeman managed to drive another block before crashing.

"After being shot, the victim drove the vehicle northbound a full block, crashed into three parked unattended vehicles, and came to a rest on a front lawn," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.

A stray bullet pierced the front door of a nearby home and lodged in the living room, just feet away from where a woman was located in her kitchen.

"I heard it come through the door, glass shattered everywhere," said Claudine Blank.

Police are checking surveillance cameras in the area.