$37,000 Reward for Info Leading to Arrest of Front St. Shooting Suspects

 

Police are still looking for information on three men involved in the robbery shooting of South Philadelphia resident Amber Long on the 900 block of N. Front St. last week.

Security footage and other information can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/nla984y

Anyone with information can call the police at 215-686-TIPS (8477); text them at PPDTIPS (773847); or fill out an online tip form at http://www.phillypolice.com/forms/submit-a-tip.

From Jan. 20, 2014:

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 11.36.56 AMA 26-year-old woman was killed Sunday night [Jan 19] when a gunman shot her in front of her mother while stealing her purse in Northern Liberties, police said.

Police identified the victim on Monday as Amber Long, of the 1700 block of West Ritner Street in South Philadelphia.

 

She was shot once in the chest around 10:25 p.m., while walking with her mother along Front Street, near Poplar.

Police Inspector Scott Small said the pair was approached by two men in a dark car, possibly a Chevrolet Impala.

One of the men, who was wearing all dark clothing, then shot her in the chest while taking her purse, Small said. The woman and her mother were walking from the El when they were attacked.

The men then drove north on Front Street, Small said.

Responding to a 911 call, 26th District patrol officers rushed Lomg to Hahnemann University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m.

Tucked on the east side of Interstate 95, new townhouses and condos are being built on the stretch of Front Street where the woman was shot, but the area is often quiet and desolate at night. The women were attacked near a lot across the street from a line of new townhouses.

Police were stretching crime scene tape near a spot where a set of keys lay on the sidewalk.

After midnight, police remained on the scene collecting footage from security cameras from an apartment complex.

Follow this story HERE.

Update Jan. 21, 2014:

Two released in woman’s killing over purse;
tipster charged with lying to police

This photo from Amber Long´s Facebook page shows her at a 2010 painting expo in Rome. Philadelphia police said today that a tipster lied about her assailant and that two suspects were released from custody.

Philadelphia police on Tuesday arrested an East Germantown man who they said lied to police when he implicated two men in the Sunday killing of a 26-year-old architect.

Lamar Beatty, 44, was charged with providing false reports to police. Homicide Capt. James Clark said Beatty had “issues” with the two men but would not elaborate on his motivation.

“He had some issues with these individuals,” Clark said. “He had the bright idea that he would attempt to put this very vicious murder on them.”

The two men Beatty accused were initially deemed “persons of interest” by police in the killing of Amber Long, who was shot in front of her mother in Northern Liberties Sunday night during a purse snatching. The men were released Tuesday morning after investigators determined that Beatty was lying.

“When we got to it, we found [Beatty] was being untruthful. He had his own motives,” homicide Capt. James Clark said.Early Monday morning, police received information that the two men were in a house on North Camac Street in Fern Rock with Long’s mother’s purse, credit cards and a gun.

In all, six people from the house were brought in for questioning.

But when police searched the dilapidated home, Clark said, they found nothing.

Clark said two men taken into custody had alibis, and after being pressed and questioned, Beatty admitted that he had made the entire story up.

Clark said investigators are “not starting at zero.”

“We have a bunch of video in the area, and we’re hoping to see something from there,” he said.

Investigators spent Monday retrieving video from two apartment complexes and other businesses in the area.

A police source who had viewed the video said the footage shows a startingly brief encounter that ends with a daughter dying at her mother’s feet.

One video shows two men – one heavyset, one with a small build – with their heads down and hoodies pulled up, walking toward Long and her mother, the source said.

The men flanked the women, and the larger one snatched Stephanie Long’s purse. The smaller man went for Amber Long’s bag, which she had bought earlier in the day for $14.

For an instant, she pulled back, almost reflexively, the source said. The gunman fired a shot, point-blank, into her chest.

As the men ran north on Front Street with Stephanie Long’s purse, the source said, Amber Long staggered toward her mother and curled up in the fetal position at her feet.

Along with the video and witness accounts, detectives are investigating other tips that have come in “that we’re now putting on the forefront,” Clark said.

“It’s very frustrating to us,” Clark said. “We thought we were very close in locking up the individuals responsible for this really vicious murder. Now we find out that we’re not as close as we thought we were.”

— Aubrey Whelan and Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writers

Follow this story HERE.

Last updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 4:25 PM
Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 11:35 AM
awhelan@phillynews.com
215-854-2961
@aubreyjwhelan