PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A college student attending Morgan State University turned himself in to Philadelphia Police on Friday night in connection with the stabbing death of a real estate developer in Rittenhouse Square.
Michael White, 20, is accused of killing 37-year-old Sean Schellenger during an incident that happened 20 hours before on Thursday just before 11 p.m. at the intersection of 17th and Chancellor Streets.
Gregg Thompson of Philadelphia Peaceful Surrender said he spoke to White prior to his arrest.
“He said to me that it was a situation that got way out of control and that he felt extremely threatened by three gentlemen that were in the car,” Thompson said.
White and his family arrived at True Gospel Tabernacle Family Church around 4 p.m. as part of a peaceful surrender.
“We’re trying to just have peace in the community,” said Bishop Ernest McNear. “We want justice.”
Other witnesses told police Schellenger was in the passenger seat of a car traveling on Chancellor, when he got out of the car and began arguing with a man on a bike.
“I came up and saw the guy bleeding on the floor and was going nuts trying to help him out,” said a witness who did not want to be identified. “A lot of people with blood on their hands.”
“That’s when the perpetrator pulled out a knife, described as a large knife, and stabbed the victim at least one time in the back,” said Chief Inspector Scott Small.
A friend of Schellenger described him as a successful real estate developer, who was very charitable and lived in the Rittenhouse area.
Paramedics rushed Schellenger to Jefferson Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:21 p.m.
“When police first picked them up they were they were able to speak to him, he was conscious and talking, although he’s bleeding heavily from the back,” Small said.
The suspect ran off, leaving his bike and a food delivery bag from bike courier company Postmates. Overnight, police with search dogs combed Rittenhouse Square for the knife used in the stabbing.
“It’s very tragic,” Small said. “Apparently, this started as some sort of argument, possibly over congestion and traffic.”
According to witnesses, during the argument he and White were both aggressive.
Patrica Strickland said, “I’ve never known him to be aggressive with anybody. In fact I was in the car with him one day and he cut somebody off. The gentlemen started to curse, and he said, ‘Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you. I’m sorry.’”
Strickland says Schellenger was like a son to her. The two were so close he built his home next door to hers.
“He was here Tuesday night and we just sat and laughed and talked. The last thing he said to me was, ‘I love you and I’ll see you later in the week.’”
White was still being processed Friday night as charges against him are pending.