Police: Man Charged With Murder After Intervening In College Couple’s Fight

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A man is now facing murder charges after police say he attempted to intervene when he saw a college couple arguing.

It happened late Tuesday night near Drexel University in the 3500 block of Lancaster Ave.

Philadelphia police say 24-year-old Joseph Howanski intervened when he saw a Drexel student arguing with her  21-year-old boyfriend, Merlos Mukaj.

24-year-old Joseph Howanski (Credit: Philadelphia Police)

That’s when police say Howanski opened fire.

“We have a male who’s armed with a gun and a permit to carry, for some reason intervenes in the situation, and at some point pulls his gun and fires three shots into the victim,” said Lt. John Walker of Southwest Philadelphia.

Drexel University and Philadelphia police responded and transported Mukaj to nearby Penn Presbyterian Hospital where he died of his injuries.

Howanski was later arrested on murder charges.

The victim and the shooter are not Drexel students. Lt. Walker said the man who was killed attended college in New Jersey.

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