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Video: Elderly Air Force vet killed in ‘broad daylight’

A police car. (Dreamstime/TNS)
March 07, 2024

An elderly U.S. Air Force veteran was shot and killed Tuesday inside his vehicle in West Philadelphia. The veteran’s family has claimed that the unidentified suspect “waited for him” and killed him in “broad daylight.” The family has also emphasized that the incident “wasn’t a random act.”

According to NBC 10 Philadelphia, family members of the victim identified the U.S. Air Force veteran as 88-year-old Richard Butler. The outlet reported that Butler was shot twice in the chest at roughly 1:35 p.m. while sitting inside a white Hyundai Santa Fe on the 100 block of North Dewey Street after dropping off his girlfriend at her home. After being shot twice in the chest, Butler attempted to drive away in his vehicle; however, his vehicle eventually came to a stop on a sidewalk.

Anonymous sources told NBC 10 that witnesses of the incident attempted to break into Butler’s vehicle with a tire iron to help the veteran out of his car after the shooting. ABC Philadelphia reported that the 88-year-old veteran was transported to Penn Presbyterian Hospital and was declared dead at 1:56 p.m.

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Butler’s family members told NBC 10 that a car had been parked near the intersection of Dewey and Arch Streets for a considerable amount of time prior to the arrival of Butler’s vehicle in the area. The family claimed that the suspect left the car, ran toward Butler’s SUV, and shot the veteran twice in the chest.

“This is so sad, that something like this could happen,” Orlando Butler, the veteran’s son, said. “And we were just sitting eating dinner together last night, having a ball and talking.”

In a video shared on social media, Minette Finn, Butler’s great-niece, told 6 ABC Philadelphia that the 88-year-old veteran was killed in “broad daylight” while he was “out doing his normal routine.”

“Goes to the park everyday, stops at Wawa,” she said. “In his car, defenseless. You waited for him. You waited for this man. This wasn’t a random act.”

Finn explained that her great-uncle was a “brother to everyone” and that everyone who met him loved him. She shared that the veteran’s family wants to know why someone would target an elderly veteran who was cherished by the local community.

“If you get that answer to that question, you guys let us know,” Finn said. “Because that’s what we want to know — why,” the grieving niece added.

6 ABC Philadelphia reported that local police are investigating the case and are searching for both the suspect and a silver sedan that was captured on surveillance video in the area.