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Shooting Leaves One Dead
and a Penn Student Injured

Shortly after 4:00 on a Sunday afternoon last month, at least 10 shots were fired from semiautomatic pistols on 33rd Street near Hill Field, leaving one man dead and three people-one of them a Penn student-wounded. The incident occurred after the Philadelphia Public League boys' basketball championship game had ended at the Palestra.
   College senior John La Bombard was working on an architectural project inside Blauhaus, the temporary fine -- arts building on the east side of Hill Field, when he was struck in the thigh by a stray bullet that had pierced the plywood wall of the structure. He was released from the hospital the day after the shooting.
   Although those involved in the shooting had attended the game, Philadelphia Police said the incident did not stem from the game but was a culmination of an ongoing battle between rival drug gangs that had included shootings in the preceding weeks. The man killed, 22 -- year -- old Anthony Davis of North Philadelphia, was reportedly a suspect in one of the previous shootings. On March 16, a South Philadelphia man who had been sought by police in connection with the shooting turned himself in. He has been charged with murder, aggravated assault, and other charges.
   The shooting follows an incident at this event last year when shots were fired outside the Palestra. That time, no one was injured. Security for the event this year was strong, with Penn, Philadelphia, and Philadelphia School District police supplementing the Palestra's security guards. Each ticket -- holder had to clear a hand -- held metal detector and all bags were searched.
   Penn officials are deciding whether to host the championship game next year. "We need to examine all of our policies and procedures for use of our facilities by outside groups," said Ken Wildes, Penn's communications director.

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Copyright 1998 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 4/9/98