Homeless suspect surrenders in slaying of Philadelphia shelter worker

A homeless man suspected of killing a shelter worker and wounding another a day after he was evicted has surrendered to police.

The suspect, 32-year-old John Brock, had been taken by police to a hospital Saturday after he was thrown out of the shelter for being intoxicated and breaking curfew. He returned early Sunday and shot two employees he had targeted, Homicide Capt. James Clark said Monday.

Edward Barksdale, 43, died after being shot five times, including once in the head, while Edward Barham, 26, was in stable condition Monday after being shot in the hip.

The shooting occurred at the Station House Homeless Facility in North Philadelphia, which is run by an organization called SELF Inc., led by former Mayor W. Wilson Goode.

“I don’t think you could have found more dedicated employees, more concerned employees, more compassionate and passionate employees,” said Goode, who served as Philadelphia mayor from 1984 to 1992.

He vowed to evaluate security procedures to ensure the safety of both employees and residents.

Brock had been staying at the shelter for the past 10 weeks before returning for the night intoxicated at 1 a.m. Saturday, police said.

He was taken to Episcopal Hospital for evaluation, but returned at about 3 a.m. Sunday, demanding access to the room where his belongings were stored. He was told the employees working at the time did not have access to it.

Brock left the facility but returned a short time later with a weapon, police said. They did not immediately know where he got it.

Officials continued Monday to urge the city’s homeless to seek out shelter given frigid temperatures.

Brock, who has numerous prior arrests, surrendered late Monday afternoon at police headquarters, Officer Tanya Little said. Charges against him were pending. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.

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