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Guardian Angels Join Hunt For West Philadelphia ‘El’ Shooters

By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police say the two suspects in Wednesday night’s shooting on a Septa elevated train  in West Philadelphia are 18-year-old brothers, Matthew and Eric Early (see related story).

And now the Guardian Angels, the neighborhood volunteer patrol and crimefighting group, has joined in the search for the suspects.

Three members of the Guardian Angels arrived late this morning at 46th and Market Streets, near the station where the shooting occurred, and began posting “wanted” signs with photos of the suspects.

Police say one of the brothers, apparently still angry following an argument with two men, fired into the crowded Market-Frankford subway-elevated car after stepping off the train (see related story).  Both shooting victims were wounded.

John Ayalya, Guardian Angels’ east coast director, says the senselessness of the crime got their attention.

“We felt that we had to come out and start getting the word out and helping the police locate these persons,” he said, “because we want the criminals to know, (and) the police and people of Philadelphia, that we’re not going to tolerate that in this city.”

For potential witnesses afraid of being targeted as “snitches,” Ayala says the Guardian Angels can act as go-betweens and deliver the information to police.

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