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Police To File Charges In 2008 South Philadelphia Cold Case

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Syma Chowdhry joined the CBS 3/The CW Philly’s Eyewitness News tea...
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By Syma Chowdhry

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)– “He wanted to become a teacher.”

Terry Zabel is the step-father of Beau Zabel, a 23-year-old man from Minnesota who came to Philadelphia with dreams of being a teacher with the city’s public school system.

“He was always looking out for the little guy and wanted to help out those he could and it back fired on him there,” Terry said. “He went out there looking forward to helping the youth of Philadelphia and becoming a teacher.”

Beau worked at a Starbucks as a summer job in June of 2008, until the school year started.

One night, he left work late and walked home.  Zabel was gunned down in front of his house on the 800 block of Ellsworth Street in the Italian Market section of the city, just weeks after moving to Philadelphia.

Terry says police told him the motive was robbery.

“The only thing that was taken was an iPod.  His wallet and everything was still with him.”

After five years – few leads – and a whopping $35,000 reward, Philadelphia Police believe they identified the killer.

“The officers kind of took a personal vendetta out in this case because they don’t want to be remembered for the city where someone comes to be a teacher and ends up getting killed,” Terry explained.

Police now say they finally have enough evidence to file charges against the person they think is responsible for killing Zabel.

“They wanted to do it for us; I think so they kept at it and kept pursuing every lead they can come up with.”

Authorities say the suspect murderer is already serving a life sentence for another fatal shooting.  “We are thankful for it, but surprised about it.”

Police plan to release more details in the coming days.

Terry Zabel says he is dealing with mixed emotions.  “People always ask us if we have closure but the main thing for us is that we have confidence that he is the one that did it.”

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