George Fox, 44, wasn't supposed to be working at T-Barr's Bar in South Philadelphia last night.
"The normal barmaid wasn't there so this guy volunteers to take her place while she worked at a graduation party," said Tom Barr, owner of the neighborhood hangout at 8th and Jackson streets, during a brief telephone interview this afternoon. "He wasn't supposed to be here."
Fox was stabbed to death during his shift at 1:15 a.m. Sunday morning. Police found him lying behind the bar with wounds to his chest. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
The incident was initially reported to be a robbery, but Barr expressed reservations. "We don't think that was the reason," he said, clearly shaken by the brutal crime.
"We're starting to think it was premeditated, but we don't know. The guy came in all dressed up with his hoodie on, mask on, gloves on, he went around the customers, right behind the bar and started stabbing him. He didn't ask him for nothing."
There were reportedly up to 15 patrons inside as the assault occurred.
"T Barr's is shocked and saddened by the loss of George Fox, who was murdered at the bar last night," a statement on the establishment's Facebook page reads. "We are offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who has information on this horrific crime. Please call the Citizens Crime Commission of Philadelphia anonymous tipline at 215-546-TIPS (8477) if you have information."
Fox was one of four people killed between Saturday night and Sunday morning, with three of the slayings occurring within ten minutes of one another.