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U.S. Marshals Capture Suspect Wanted For Shooting Philly Parking Officer In The Head

Philadelphia, PA – The suspect accused of shooting an unsuspecting Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) officer in the head late last month was apprehended on Wednesday after a standoff with federal law enforcement officers.

U.S. Marshals tracked the suspect to an abandoned residence located in the 5500-block of Girard Avenue at approximately 5 p.m. on Dec. 21, WPVI reported.

He has been identified as 39-year-old career criminal Termaine Saulsbury.

“We went to one of the houses. A male resembling Saulsbury came to the window and we ordered him down. He refused to come down,” U.S. Marshals Supervisory Deputy Marshal Robert Clark told WPVI. “He put some stuff in front of the door – some furniture, a bicycle – tried to refuse our investigators’ entry.”

The federal agents had Saulsbury in custody within approximately 30 minutes.

In addition to brazenly shooting 37-year-old PPA Officer Timothy McKenzie on Nov. 25, Saulsbury is also believed to be the gunman who shot a Bronx gas station worker on Nov. 22, according to police.

The gas station employee, Zulfigar Alvi, was shot in the head and remained hospitalized in critical condition on Wednesday, WCAU reported.

Investigators said Saulsbury was wearing the same clothing in both shootings and that he allegedly used the same firearm in both attacks, WVPI reported.

“The four detectives from both departments worked tirelessly over the last two weeks, putting together incredible evidence, working through hundreds and hundreds of hours of video from both states,” Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) Captain Walker said, according to WCAU.

Capt. Walker said they also worked with the district attorneys in both Philadelphia and New York, as well as with the PPA, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Police Department.

Police said Saulsbury’s criminal history dates back to 2001.

His prior arrests include armed robbery, weapons violations, and attacking prison guards while serving a sentence back in 2016, WPVI reported.

The motive for the shooting of Officer McKenzie is still under investigation.

The horrific attack, which was captured by a security camera, occurred in the 4500-block of Frankford Avenue at approximately 4 p.m. on Nov. 25.

Investigators said Officer McKenzie was going about his work when a gunman came up and abruptly shot him in his ear and shoulder, according to WPVI.

The PPA officer was walking down the sidewalk, apparently checking on parked vehicles, when a man wearing what appeared to be a partial facemask and a blue hooded sweatshirt rounded the corner and quickly approached him from behind, the video showed.

When the officer turned towards one of the vehicles, the suspect walked up behind him, held the gun inches from his head, and shot him.

The wounded officer immediately collapsed to the ground, the video showed.

The gunman then slowly jogged back in the direction from which he came and fled the scene.

The wounded PPA officer was rushed to Temple University Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition, WPVI reported.

Officer McKenzie has since been released to continue his recovery at home, according to police.

“Fortunately, through the intervention of God, I believe, the bullet hit him in the side of the neck, bounced off his spine, back up out of the shoulder and lands in his jaw,” Capt. Walker told WCAU. “That night the prognosis wasn’t very good. But even though the employee is in a lot of pain right now, he’s doing very well. He’s home for the holidays which is a good thing.”

Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner Frank Vanore said shortly after the attack that investigators believe the PPA officer was an “intended target,” according to CBS News.

“It’s bold. It’s brazen and something we’re definitely going to do everything we can to solve immediately,” Deputy Commissioner Vanore added.

PPA Executive Director Rich Lazer released a statement praising the coordinated police effort to apprehend Saulsbury, WPVI reported.

“I want to thank and commend the Philadelphia Police Department, U.S. Marshalls and other law enforcement agencies for their excellent investigative work in apprehending a suspect so quickly,” Director Lazer said. “As difficult as the job is for our enforcement officers, their safety continues to be our top priority. Knowing a suspect is now in police custody, is a relief for our whole workforce and our families.”

“While our PEO Tim McKenzie continues to recover and improve, it is now time to let justice take its course,” he added.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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