Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pastor Father kills son in domestic dispute

Darby police: Father kills son in domestic dispute
Published: Saturday, December 26, 2009

By AMY BRISSON
abrisson@delcotimes.com

DARBY BOROUGH — A family gathering turned to tragedy on Christmas Day when a son was shot and killed by his father, according to Darby police.

Jordon Caldwell, 21, was found suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest in his family home in the 100 block of Ridge Avenue at about 2 p.m. Friday, said Chief Robert F. Smythe.

Caldwell was rushed to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a half-hour later.

Smythe said it appears Caldwell was shot by his father, Kirk Caldwell, 44, who got involved in a domestic dispute that started between his son and a girl.

Caldwell’s murder was the 21st homicide in the county this year and the third killing in Darby in 2009.

Smythe said it is still not clear exactly what led to the shooting, which was witnessed by 20 or more family and friends. Many of them were still in their slippers and pajamas when police responded to a 911 call, Smythe said.

“We’re trying to put it all together, but at this point what we’re saying is that it was a domestic and the father shot the son,” Smythe said.

Kirk Caldwell was being held by police, but had not been charged as of early Friday evening.

Smythe said he personally knows Caldwell, a pastor at the End Times Harvest Mission for Christ in Philadelphia, to be a “very good man.”

“We got to get to the bottom of the story. The family’s good people. We need to wait until we get through these interviews in the next several hours,” said Smythe.

Besides leading a congregation in Philadelphia, Caldwell has spoken out in the past about violence in Darby. In a July 9 vigil for another young shooting victim, Caldwell was quoted in the Daily Times cautioning residents not to take the law into their own hands.

“Retaliation is never the answer. Retaliation is only going to make it worse,” he said.

The official cause of Jordon Caldwell’s death is pending an autopsy by the Delaware County Medical Examiner.

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