Kin questioned in prison officer death

Lonnie Rowland worked next to criminals every day as a corrections officer, but off the clock he was a quiet man who mainly kept to himself.

“[He] was my guy. He was a wonderful person,” said Gertrude Rowland, his grandmother, who had raised him in her West Elkhart Street home since he was in high school.

Yesterday, family members mourned the 37-year-old father of two, known as “Meechi,” after he was gunned down Sunday night inside his grandmother’s home. Police said he was shot in the head and chest and pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital.

Rowland worked at Cambria Community Center, a small minimum-security post in North Philadelphia.

Gertrude Rowland said she came downstairs and saw the killer straddling Lonnie Rowland’s body.

Investigators are questioning a family member who had recently gotten out of prison and was staying at the house. Family members identified him as Carl Rowland, 27, with prior arrests for burglary and simple assaults.

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