Man Says He Killed Neighbor and Girlfriend in Self-Defense

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A man who shot and killed his neighbor and his girlfriend, as part of what residents say was a long running feud between the two men, claims he did so in self-defense.

The incident occurred shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday on the 4700 block of James Street in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. The 69-year-old man told police he had been arguing with his neighbor, identified by friends as 45-year-old Bob DePaul. The man claimed DePaul and his girlfriend, identified as 43-year-old August Dempsey, tried to climb his fence during the argument.

The man said he felt threatened and grabbed his gun. He then opened fire, shooting DePaul and Dempsey. They both died from gunshot wounds to the head. 

Sources told NBC10 the 69-year-old man called police immediately after the shooting. He was taken into custody but later released. No charges have been filed as the investigation continues.

Residents say the man and DePaul were once friends but had been locked in an ongoing feud over the past few years. At one point the man even put up a wall between his porch and DePaul’s.

“I know they didn’t get along,” Anna Szymanski told NBC10. “I don’t know why. But he was always nice to us.”

Dempsey, a mother of two, worked for the Philadelphia Parking Authority while DePaul, a father of four, worked as a maintenance worker. Thomas Flanagan, a friend of DePaul’s, told NBC10 he is outraged that no charges have been filed.

“I don’t believe this guy’s out of jail,” Flanagan said. “Because it ain’t right. Why would he shoot his girlfriend? I don’t understand that.”

“I love him to death. I’m gonna miss him very much. I just want to see justice done. That’s it.”

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is currently investigating the shooting and deciding whether or not charges will be filed.

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