Police are investigating a brutal assault that left Kevin Kless, 23, dead in Old City early Saturday morning.

Park rangers at Independence Hall found Kless when they heard screams coming from the 400 block of Chestnut Street around 2:25 a.m., police said. By the time they rushed to the scene outside the old Second Bank of the United States building, he was unconscious on the sidewalk without a pulse.

Though medics were able to revive him, he was hooked up to life support at Jefferson University Hospital until 7:10 p.m. Saturday evening, when he died.

Kless, of the 1600 block of Brown Street in Spring Garden, graduated from Temple University in 2010, where he was a member of fraternity Gamma Iota Sigma and the school's snowboarding club. He worked as an insurance claims representative at Berkeley Mid-Atlantic in the Harrisburg area and recently took a job at a city firm.

 

Police have identified a possible vehicle involved in the attack. They are looking for a maroon four-door Mazda carrying four men who appear to be in their 20s and of Middle Eastern or Indian descent.

Kless was at Lucy's Hat Shop Friday night with two female friends when he left to catch a cab, walking down 4th Street to Chestnut, police said. There, he yelled at a cab and the Mazda occupants, who had pulled up behind the cab, presumably thought the yelling was directed at them.

A verbal altercation may have occurred and two of the men from the Mazda got out around and punched and kicked Kless, police said. As they walked back to the car, a third man emerged from the vehicle and they beat Kless even more brutally, smashing his head against the granite ledge around the bank building.

The men fled in the Mazda as park rangers responded to the girls' screams for help.

Police have surveillance footage showing the car, but it is too grainy to be of much help, a spokeswoman said. They are canvassing local businesses for additional video.

They are also asking for anyone who was in the area and might have seen or heard anything to call the Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334 or 215-686-3335.

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