Air Force vet, 88, gunned down in his car in Philadelphia: Police

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(PHILADELPHIA) -- An assailant who gunned down an 88-year-old Air Force veteran in broad daylight as he sat behind the wheel of his parked car in Philadelphia remained unidentified on Wednesday, according to police.

Richard Butler, who was also a retired driver for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, was killed Tuesday after dropping off a friend at her home, police and the victim's family said.

"Why? What is the why? This man did nothing to anyone and he gave to everyone," Butler's niece, Minette Finn, told ABC Philadelphia station WPVI-TV, calling Butler "a brother to everyone."

The shooting occurred at 1:35 p.m. Tuesday as Butler sat in his white Hyundai in the Haddington neighborhood of West Philadelphia, according to a Philadelphia Police Department incident report.

Butler suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

A home security camera recorded a man, considered a suspect, getting out of a silver sedan and walking toward Butler's car moments before the shooting, WPVI reported, citing police sources.

No weapons were recovered at the scene, according to the police incident report.

Butler had just dropped off his girlfriend at her home and was planning to meet her later for dinner when he was shot, family members told WPVI, saying it appeared that Butler was intentionally targeted.

"Broad daylight, he was out doing his normal routine. Goes to the park everyday, stops at Wawa," Finn said of Butler. "In his car, defenseless. You waited for him. You waited for this man. This wasn't a random act."

Following Butler's death, Finn posted a video of Butler dancing at a recent family function.

"If you met him, you loved him. That's all I'm going to say," Finn said. "Anyone in this neighborhood could tell you, probably he wore his heart on his sleeve and he gave to everyone."

Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 5:50AM by Bill Hutchinson, ABC News Permalink