Police have ‘person of interest’ in Zabel case

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Philadelphia police have released a video showing a “person of interest” in the death of 23-year-old Beau Zabel, an Austin High School graduate who was shot dead early Sunday morning in a suspected robbery.

A police spokesperson said, however, that they still have no suspects.

“No, absolutely not,” the spokesperson said.

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Zabel, who had moved to Philadelphia to teach math to inner-city students, was shot in the neck around 1:30 a.m. while returning home from a shift at Starbucks. Police say they suspect he was killed over his I-pod because of the nature of the theft.

Zabel was found with his pants pockets turned inside-out, though his backpack, which contained his wallet, identification and cash, was not taken.

“We believe he possible was followed to be a victim of a robbery and the robbery went terribly wrong and ultimately he was killed,” Philadelphia Police Capt. James Clark said during a press conference Monday.

Zabel is described as an extraordinary young man by family and teachers, who said the 23-year-old was kind, intelligent and outgoing.

“He was supposed to be a pillar to a community, and that’s what he would have been,” said his science teache, Mark Raymond. “It’s an absolute travesty.”

Zabel graduated from Austin High School in 2003, and attended Augustana College in Illinois. He had been accepted into the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows program and was going to Drexel University for graduate school.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.