PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A suspect has been charged in the shooting death of a couple in Frankford, after he was brought in for questioning and then released last week.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office confirms that two counts of first-degree murder against 69-year-old Kenneth Hoyle Friday morning.
“We were worried about no one being charged,” said Tony Dempsey, the victim’s ex-husband.
Nearly two weeks after claiming he shot and killed his neighbors in self-defense, Hoyle has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Authorities say overnight on July 16, Hoyle shot 45-year-old Bob DePaul and his girlfriend, 42-year-old August Dempsey, in the back of the heads during an argument outside of their homes on the 4700 block of James Street in Northeast Philadelphia.
“They’ve been arguing for years,” said neighbor Willie Dixon, who says DePaul had become a good friend.
Dixon claims the two neighbors had a long-standing feud but had fought that evening over loud noise from DePaul fixing his motorcycle.
Police had taken Hoyle into custody initially but released him after he claimed he fired in self-defense as the couple tried to scale his fence.
“I’m like, ‘Wow, the justice system failed.’ That’s all I could think. I mean, two bodies with a bullet in the back of the head and he’s out without charges,” said neighbor Michael Ewing.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office says it filed first-degree murder charges Friday after a thorough investigation.
“Words cannot describe how grateful I am for everyone’s support. Just thank you, everybody, for everything, everyone has done for us,” said 20-year-old Anthony Dempsey, the victim’s son.
Earlier this week, Dempsey and his 14-year-old brother, Nicholas, had delivered a petition with thousands of signatures to the District Attorney’s Office demanding charges be filed against the shooter.
Now that they have, Ewing says he’s breathing a sigh of relief.
“That actually restores my faith in the justice system a little bit. I mean it took much longer than I would’ve liked but still better than nothing,” he said.
Despite the tragedy, there has been an outpouring of support from the community. There is another vigil scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday in honor of the victims outside of their homes.