Victim in 'dog waste' murder identified; was father of 6-week-old baby,Police: Philadelphia man dead after dog waste dispute

TACONY - February 15, 2012

Story courtesy of WPVI-TV in Philadelphia

Those murder charges were filed early Wednesday morning against 27-year-old Tyrirk Harris. The victim, 46-year-old Franklin Manuel Santana, was pronounced dead on the scene with multiple gunshot wounds to the neck and torso.

Santana, known to neighbors as "Frank," leaves behind a wife and a six-week-old baby, Roxanne. His wife, who spoke to Action News on Wednesday morning, said the family had just moved the home about a month ago.

Witnesses tell police and Action News the incident began just after 4:00 p.m. Tuesday along the 6500 block of Torresdale Avenue in the Tacony section of the city.

Santana's wife said her husband had just gotten home from work when he noticed that Harris' dogs, a German shepherd and a Chihuahua, had defecated in his yard. Neighbors say Santana asked Harris to please clean it up but, according to witnesses, what happened next was totally unexpected.

"He was telling the guy, 'please do not let your dog poop on my lawn; please, at least clean it up,'" witness Francis Fogarty said.

Fogarty said Harris answered back by saying, 'You're getting cocky with me?' According to Fogarty, Harris then shot Santana in the face. As Santana fell, witnesses say, Harris fired several more shots at him.

Harris was taken into custody and placed in a police wagon. Investigators say he had a 9mm handgun in his possession.

Police say at one time Santana had a license to carry the gun, but that license was revoked last month. There was no immediate word on why that happened. Harris was a per diem Philadelphia School District police officer who was let go last June. Those officers are not allowed to carry guns.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey called this another senseless death.

"Dog owners who allow their dogs to defecate on someone else's property are supposed to clean it up. I can understand a confrontation from that, but it shouldn't end with gun violence," Ramsey said.

Neighbors say many of them had approached the gunman over the issue of his dogs in the past, but it never ended like this.

"I've had discussions with him before, the neighbor over here has had discussions with him before, but it was never confrontational," said David Cheatley.

Neighbors also say they've had problems before with crime, but this shooting still managed to shock the community.

"It's just ridiculous, come on. People wonder why they want to move," neighbor Rick Davis said.

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