Skip to comments.Aspiring Teacher Shot and Killed in Robbery in Philadelphia (139th homicide this year)
Posted on 06/16/2008 5:43:44 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
Beau Zabel, 23, came to Philadelphia from Minnesota six weeks ago, eager to experience urban East Coast living and to become a math teacher in the city school system. He found a place to live through roommates.com in South Philadelphia near the Italian Market, and took a temporary job at the Starbucks at Fourth and South Streets.
He recently updated his page on MySpace.com, which proclaims his optimism: "Just waiting for life to begin."
But his life ended about 1:30 a.m. yesterday, when police said Zabel was ambushed as he walked home from the midnight shift at the coffee shop. He was shot once in the neck in the 800 block of Ellsworth Street and fell to the sidewalk, police said.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The motive was robbery, said Sgt. Frank Hayes of the homicide squad. No arrests have been made.
"I thought I had to worry about him in the classroom, not on the streets," his mother, Lana Zamora, said by telephone yesterday from Austin, Minn. She was preparing to fly to Philadelphia.
Zamora said that she had driven her son here on May 2 and was assured by his new roommate that the neighborhood was safe. Now she is filled with disbelief and regret.
"Beau decided what he wanted to do," she said. "I raised my children to make their own decisions."
The second of three children, Zabel appeared to be a young man of great promise.
An Eagle Scout, he grew up in the small city of Austin near the Iowa border, where Hormel makes meat products and the city proudly proclaims itself "Spam Town USA." He graduated in 2007 from Augustana College, a liberal arts school in Rock Island, Ill., where he studied mathematics, Spanish, philosophy and computer science.
"He was a really good student," said Thomas Bengston, chairman of the Augustana math department, who described Zabel as good-natured and easy-going. "Things didn't get him down."
Zabel was attracted to teaching, but he did not have a degree in education. He was drawn to the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows program because he could teach in city public schools while getting his certification through Drexel University.
Zabel chose Philadelphia over a similar program in Chicago so he could be near an aunt who lives in Lancaster, Pa., Zamora said. He planned to have dinner on Friday with his cousin, she said.
On Ellsworth Street yesterday, neighborhood youths played basketball just a few feet from where the young man fell, oblivious to the stained sidewalk. Neighbors expressed shock that a violent crime had occurred on their quiet block, though some grumbled about the recent influx of immigrants as a signal that the neighborhood was changing.
Deena Burgase said she was wakened by the shot and immediately dismissed it as a problem with the utility lines - the electrical equipment had popped off recently. It was only after police arrived that Burgase understood that a young man had been killed across the narrow street from her rowhouse.
"I thought it was a transformer explosion," she said. "This is the first shooting in our neighborhood."
Police told neighbors that they would be studying any video of the area that night. There is a police camera on Washington Avenue, and Zabel is believed to have walked near the camera on his way home.
Sgt. Tim Cooney said that Zabel's pockets had been turned out but that he still had his personal effects, including his wallet. Police believe only one assailant was involved.
Zabel was the city's 139th homicide this year, compared with 181 by this time last year.
Zabel's mother got the word yesterday and was eager for any news. "We don't have a whole lot of murders up here," she said.
She was stoic in the way of the upper Midwest, but also numbed by the news. She works as a victim's advocate for a nonprofit organization but did not fully comprehend victimization until yesterday.
"I've worked with a lot of victims," she said. "It's different - a way different feeling - when you're the victim. I thought I would be angry, but right now I don't care what happens to the people who did this.
"It won't bring my son back."
An Eagle Scout, Beau Zabel grew up in the small city of Austin, Minn. near the Iowa border.
A very interesting statement about our public school systems.
How very Liberal of you. As long as you dont care then we can all expect more of the same.
I haven’t seen a description of the perp yet.
It’s tragic. That neighborhood had been one of the safest in the city. There’s even a community swimming pool nearby.
That's how I know he's black.
Perp took Obambi’s advice to bring a gun.
It sounds to me like no one has yet reported having seen the perp.
High probability of that, this being Philadelphia and all, but still ...
“I havent seen a description of the perp yet.”
Please enlighten as to how you even know there’s a witness to describe the perp.
“aspiring teacher shot and killed in robbery in philadelphia”
one guesses that they call it filthydelphia for good reason.
If they ever catch the perp I will bet my next paycheck that it is a repeat offender that some liberal judge let off a previous crime that would have put them behind bars where they belong.
“That’s how I know he’s black.”
Wow, you need to be a detective, seeing as it sounds like the police didn’t even have a description when this article was written. I’m completely astounded by your powers of deduction.
Actually, for Philadelphia, it is a fairly safe neighborhood. In 2007, there were only 3 homicides in that general area.
You and me both.
The left is always detached from reality. What’s scary is that they don’t even remember 9/11 and don’t believe that a nuclear 9/11 is coming.
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