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Police: Man fatally shot, witness takes down shooter

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 07 2013 09:51:13 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 08 2013 10:58:30 AM CDT

Father, son shot in Reading

READING, Pa. -

It was a scene straight out of a movie. 

After a father and son were shot coming out of a bar, their friend chased down the alleged gunman. Now, Reading police are trying to piece together a complicated crime scene.

The 49-year-old father was killed. Friends identified him as Clifford "Whimpy" McFarlane, a native of Jamaica who had worked as a chef. 

McFarlane's 29 year-son, Marlone, was shot several times and underwent surgery Sunday afternoon at Reading Hospital, according to Berks County District Attorney John Adams. 

The unidentified suspect is also in the hospital with severe injuries, thanks to the witness who tackled him until police arrived. 

Adams said both McFarlane's son and the suspect are too injured to speak with detectives yet.

The father and son were leaving the Gargoyle Lounge, a bar on North 8th Street, when police said a gunman ambushed them with a .40 caliber handgun.

"I was nervous because I didn't want to get hit with a shell or a bullet," said Manny Loubriel, who lives next to the shooting scene in the 800 block of Elm Street.

"The shooter fled through an alley," said Sgt. John Solecki, Reading Police Dept.

But the alleged gunman only got one block away.

"A citizen who had witnessed the shooting actually chased the shooter and was able to tackle him," said Solecki. "He struggled with the gunman. The gunman dropped his gun. Police officers arrived within seconds."

That fight left the suspect so severely injured that he had to undergo surgery in a Philadelphia hospital, according to a Reading court clerk. Adams said they haven't been able to identify the suspect yet, so for now, he is charged as "John Doe."

It appears McFarlane was targeted.  According to court documents, the suspect said "he should have died a long time ago."

Loubriel believes there were actually two gunmen -- that the initial ambush may have turned into a gun battle.

"I heard loud gunfire, and then there was return fire from probably another person," he said.

Police are investigating that possibility.

"There's evidence that would indicate possibly a second shooter was there, who we have not identified at this point," said Solecki.

Police are reviewing security camera footage, according to the district attorney. For now, the suspect is only charged with attempted homicide until ballistics tests determine if there was more than one gun, and if so, which one fired the deadly shot.

The suspect is also charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and possession of a gun with an altered serial number.

An autopsy will be performed on the victim Monday at 5 p.m., according to Adams.

Police are asking any witnesses to please come forward. They can call Crime Alert Berks County with their anonymous tip. The toll-free number is 877-373-9913. A cash reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.