Cops Charge Teen in Shooting Bulls Fan

by | December 14, 2012 at 10:34 AM | Crime

Wanted: Police are still searching for Matthew Early, 18, in connection with a Dec. 12 shooting. Photo: Phila. Police.

Philadelphia police have made an arrest in a brazen public shooting that shocked many and prompted police to release a security tape that showed a young man gunning down a SEPTA passenger.

Police said the shooting occurred after an argument over a game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Chicago Bulls. In the video, a victim dressed in Bulls-branded clothing appears to fight with two men just before being shot.

Today, police released a photo of Eric Early, 17, of the 100 block of S. 49th Street in Philadelphia. Early was arrested at Erie and Torresdale avenues in Northeast Philadelphia on Monday and charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and related offenses in connection to the Dec. 12 shooting.

However, police are still searching for his brother, 18-year-old Matthew Early.

Police say Matthew Early appears in the video captured by SEPTA cameras, and is standing with his brother just before the 10:39 p.m. shooting at 46th and Market streets.

NBC Philadelphia reports that police believe Matthew Early was the trigger man in shooting.

Eric Early’s bail has been set at $5 million, the station reports.

Police said the primary victim, a 36-year-old man, got into an argument with the Early brothers on a westbound Market-Frankford train on the way home from the 76ers-Bulls game.

When the train stopped at 46th and Market streets, the Early brothers walked off the train, according to police. One of the men in the video can be seen as he casually pulls a small black handgun from his vest pocket and fires back into the crowded train car.

Police said a bullet struck the victim in the stomach before passing through the man and hitting a second victim in the leg.

After the shot is fired, other passengers leaving the train scatter in panic as the two suspects flee from the station.

Police said Early should not be approached and that anyone who him should call 911 immediately.

The public can also submit tips by calling 215 686 TIPS (8477) or texting a tip to PPD TIP or 773847.

A copy of the video released by police can be viewed below. WARNING: the video is graphic and shows the suspect firing into the train car.