Philadelphia police are still looking for a motive in the early morning home invasion attack that left a man dead and his wife in critical condition in Strawberry Mansion.
Police said two male suspects entered a home on the 3200 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue shortly before 4 a.m. Sherrell Paul, 39, heard the men enter and went to the top of the stairs, where she was shot eight to 10 times. Her husband, John Paul, then responded and got into a physical confrontation with at least one of the suspects when he was shot multiple times.
Police said the suspects then fled the house and got into a black vehicle driven by a third man. Investigators found blood outside the house and believe one of the suspects was wounded in the lower body, possibly during the struggle or as they fled.
The couple’s two children, estimated to be ages 6 and 10, heard the shots and called 911 but were unharmed, police said.
Homicide Capt. James Clark said nothing appeared to be taken from the home and that there are no signs the suspects knew the victims. He would not rule out a case of mistaken identity.
“Right now it’s a mystery to us. We don’t know why they were targeted, but we’re hopeful to get these individuals in custody,” Clark said.
He described the victims as law-abiding citizens, both of whom worked in the health care field, though the husband had recently been laid off.
“He seemed to be a good upstanding person, nice family man, [and] his wife,” Clark said. “Their lifestyle didn’t indicate that they would be victims of this type of crime.”
John Paul was pronounced dead at the scene. Sherrell Paul was listed in critical but stable condition at Temple University Hospital.