PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A beloved Philadelphia mechanic was killed by a stray bullet Thursday afternoon. He was simply doing what he loved, when gunfire erupted on Benner Street in Wissinoming.
Police say they have surveillance video of the shooting and they’re hoping to identify at least four people involved, who were firing at each other, but ended up killing an innocent mechanic.
“You got to put the guns down, man,” neighbor Paul Britton said. “That’s not the way.”
Bullets don’t discriminate against who they kill and on Thursday, 56-year-old Michael Gleba was doing the very work he loved when he was struck by a stray shot in front of his business, Northeast Speedometer Service Auto Shop.
“A group of males start firing at least 15 shots from a .45 caliber handgun,” Philadelphia Police Capt. John Walker said.
It all unfolded between two groups of men, police say, are involved in drug dealing. The shots rang out around 3:15 p.m. on the 4700 block of Benner Street, at least 100 yards from Gleba’s shop.
“An innocent guy who spent his whole life serving this community now has to leave this community, being hit by a stray bullet by idiots firing guns over narcotics activity,” Walker said.
Police rushed Gleba to Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, where doctors say he died less than 30 minutes after being shot.
“A great, great guy,” Britton said. “Caring, would give you the shirt off of his back.”
By all accounts, Gleba loved his neighborhood and the people in it, staying open late for his customers and helping many people out when they really needed it.
“My mom didn’t have the money to get the truck fixed, Mike looked out for us,” Britton said. “Took care of my mom, fixed our truck, didn’t expect nothing back.”
His long-time tenant says Gleba will be sorely missed.
“He was a really good person, It’s sad to see him go like this. He didn’t deserve this,” she said.
Police say the same surveillance video shows at least one person involved was shot in the arm and fled the scene. Investigators are monitoring area hospitals to see if anyone checks themselves in.