Philadelphia metal pipe attack on office building leaves woman dead; arrested tenant
A man who rented office space in a Philadelphia office building was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly beat a woman to death with a metal pipe while she sat at a reception desk, authorities said.
The brutal daytime attack – which was seen by multiple witnesses – took place on the eighth floor of the Regus Building in the Old Town neighborhood just after 2 p.m., Philadelphia’s FOX 29 reported.
“People screaming, people hiding under desks, [a] person with a gun. It was definitely a very violent and tragic incident that probably lasted longer than your normal homicide when someone gets shot,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters.
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The 48-year-old suspect, who rented an office on the eighth floor, is accused of walking behind the woman while she was sitting at the reception desk on the same floor, authorities say.
The unidentified 31-year-old victim, described by colleagues as a “team leader”, was struck at least five times in the head, police said.
The victim also had defensive wounds to his arms and hands, FOX 29 reported. She was taken to hospital and died shortly after arriving.
After the brutal beating, police arrived to find the suspect stepping off an elevator covered in blood and carrying a bag with two-foot-long bloody metal pipes, FOX 29 reported.
The suspect was arrested and identified by multiple witnesses, Small said. Thursday morning, the authorities had not yet released his name.
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Police believe the suspect and victim knew each other and had an argument in the past, according to the station. A dispute over rent may also have fueled the attack, Philadelphia’s WPVI-TV reported.
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“We are still working on this information,” Small added. “It was definitely a very violent and tragic incident.”