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No charges anticipated in killing
By Thomas J. Gibbons Jr.

The operator of an Overbrook Park bakery is not expected to face charges in the fatal shooting of a teenager who tried to rob him shortly after he left his shop late Thursday night, authorities said.

Jan M. Moskow, 47, was walking home from Best Cake Bakery at 7594 Haverford Ave. about 11 p.m. when Raheem Stewart, 18, approached him near an alley behind Haverford Avenue, pulled a semiautomatic pistol, and announced a holdup, police said.

"Our victim, while backing up, had his hands in the air," said Capt. James Brady. "He was further menaced by that weapon. He felt threatened, felt his life was in danger, as he tells us.

"He pulled a weapon, which he was licensed to carry, and shot the perpetrator twice, killing him," said Brady, commander of the Homicide Division. One slug hit Stewart in the head. The other struck him in a shoulder.

George Agostini, 74, was watching television in his Overbrook Avenue residence when two shots rang out.

"I thought maybe it was a thunderstorm or car backfiring," Agostini said.

Then, he said, he looked out his rear window and saw a commotion and the teen collapsed on a concrete parking area below, a popular spot for neighborhood youths to congregate.

"He was gone right away. His gun was in front of his foot," Agostini said. "It wasn't too big of a gun."

The spot where the shooting occurred - a parking area off an alley that connects the 7500 blocks of Overbrook Avenue and Greenhill Road - is behind a row of stores on Haverford Avenue.

Agostini said teens often congregated in an abandoned car that had been there for several months. The car was towed away later yesterday, passing a large bloodstain that marked the shooting site.

"I hope now with this car out of here, that will end," said Agostini of the trouble the teens often caused at the spot.

Detectives said Moskow was heading for his house several blocks away when the confrontation occurred. Efforts to reach him there and at the bakery were unsuccessful.

Brady said Moskow was issued a permit to carry his firearm, a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, about five years ago.

The weapon was legally registered, Brady said.

Moskow was questioned through the morning at Police Headquarters, then released.

"A review of the case indicates self-defense, and absent additional facts or information, I shouldn't anticipate any charges being filed in this case," said Brady, addressing reporters outside Police Headquarters.

A final determination will be made by the District Attorney's Office.

Investigators also will be showing mug shots of Stewart - he had a criminal record that included arrests for burglary and arson - to victims of some previous crimes in the neighborhood.

"There are robberies in the area that we're looking at," Brady said. "Some have striking similarities, so we're going to take a look at that and see if, in fact, he was involved."

Stewart lived several blocks away from where the shooting occurred.

His home was in the 7600 block of Wyndale Avenue, a street of rowhouses that dead-ends at a section of Fairmount Park.

"He was quiet, real quiet," said Kiyon Harvey, 18, of the 1300 block of Farrington Road in the neighborhood.

Harvey said Stewart liked to hang out in a bowling alley off nearby City Avenue, where he played video games.

"When I found out what happened, I was shocked," Harvey said, adding that Stewart had attended the Lamberton School at 75th Street and Woodbine Avenue.

Other youths who said they knew Stewart stopped yesterday to stare at the spot where he died.

Someone had placed a pair of black Nike sneakers on the spot, saying the shoes had belonged to the teenager. Later, a discarded backpack was left there.

Diran Peretz, 18, of the 7300 block of Sherwood Road, said he occasionally played video games with Stewart at the bowling alley.

"He was not a friend, but an associate," Peretz said.

"I would say 'hi' to him. Give him mutual respect."

Thomas J. Gibbons Jr.'s e-mail address is 2000 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.

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