“Babe, wake up, there are people with guns outside.”
It’s my fiancé, her voice is hurried.
Still foggy-eyed, I climb out of bed and walk to the other bedroom on the upper floor to peer out the window. It provides a view of our back patio, as well as most of my other neighbors’ back patios in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood of Philadelphia. I see some of my neighbors outside still wearing pajamas and curious as to what’s happening on their doorsteps. I go downstairs to get a better look at all the hubbub. My fiancé tells me there are two armed men wearing plainclothes right next to our sectored-off back patio where a skinny alleyway connects everyone’s properties. She also says there’s another man fully decked in a military uniform with multiple weapons on his person.
“He wants to come in,” she says. With so few details of what’s actually going on, I’m skeptical, worrying that this man, or the others, are imposters of some sort. “They’re police officers,” she tries to assure me.
The heavily armed police officer, presumably for the state of Pennsylvania, enters our home through the back with my fiancé’s explicit permission. While holding back our protective dog, she escorts him through the kitchen, then dining room and living room. He is very appreciative and polite, which helps. It’s still a highly unsettling spectacle, especially at 6:30 in the morning, with a very small part of me still wondering if this is part of some intense dream. As he moves through our home towards the front door, he places his hands on his large semi-automatic firearm that hung across his chest, ready for his next move.
“So do I lock it behind you?” I asked.
“Can you stay here? I’ll be right back, buddy,” he replied.
After a few minutes of looking outside our big window at the front of the house facing the street, with only a very partial view of any action, I go back upstairs to get ready for the work day.
“What the hell was that?” I ask out loud.
“What was that?” my fiancé asks out loud.
A few minutes pass.
“I think they’re throwing flash grenades,” she says, impressing me on her knowledge of explosive devices.
The house shakes a little and the loudness makes it quite clear it’s not the usual noises a garbage or construction truck might make.
Not long after, she reports back to me with updates from hyperlocal Facebook groups. SWAT teams with armored vehicles, state and city police, and intrigued and worried neighbors were all outside a row home just around the corner, feet away from our property. Police blocked off several streets and made it their mission to apprehend the suspects.
“Come out [suspect’s name]!” an officer can be heard yelling through a loud speaker. “It’s the state police.”
A few more times, every couple minutes, the officer repeats the same demand.
Another flash grenade-like sound.
Local news stations eventually make their way to the scene and reported on it firsthand.
Heavy law enforcement presence at 24th and Carpenter Streets. pic.twitter.com/GB3610iEfO
— Kelsey Fabian (@KelseyPHL17) August 17, 2021
Authorities executed a search warrant for multiple properties in the southwest part of Center City, Philadelphia. Multiple people were escorted out of my neighbor’s home, according to a PHL17 reporter on the scene. It is not clear if the suspects own the home they were situated in or not.
State police eventually arrest two suspects in connection with a murder in the neighboring Chester County, Pennsylvania, according to PHL17.
Update: The Pennsylvania State Police were working on this case for two months.
“Investigations led our Criminal Investigations Unit to multiple residences in Philadelphia where search warrants were served, and two arrests were made,” the Pennsylvania State Police said in a press release sent to the Daily Caller. “As a result, Lynelle FLOWERS-26 years of age, of Philadelphia as well as Zahir RANDALL-20 years of age, of Philadelphia, have been arrested and charged with Criminal Homicide, Murder of the First Degree, Aggravated Assault, Discharge of a Firearm Into an Occupied Structure, and other related offenses. Both have been remanded Prison and are awaiting their Preliminary Hearings.”
The state police, in its press release, also detailed the discovery of the homicide victim and original crime in question.
Upon arrival at a home in Sadsbury Township, Chester County, “troopers observed one male deceased from a suspected gunshot wound. Through investigation, it was determined that the deceased male was shot several times. The actor(s) then fled the scene,” according to state police.