Police hunt killer of Temple student in off-campus apartment

Motive unknown for why a 21-year-old third-year business student at Temple was shot to death in his apartment on May 5.
Daniel Duignam, 21, a 3rd-year business student at Temple, was found shot to death on May 5 in his off-campus apartment. (Provided)

Philadelphia police are currently hunting the killer of a Temple student, found shot to death inside his off-campus apartment over the weekend, whose last act was to reportedly to call 911 and tell them that he couldn't breath.

 

Daniel Duignam, 21, was found shot to death on May 5, police and the university confirmed.

 

"We don't have any suspects at this time," Philly Homicide Unit Capt. John Ryan said at a press conference. "We believe Mr. Duignam did know who was there in the apartment. There were clear signs of a struggle."

 

Ryan said police got the 911 call reporting the shooting from Duignam, who told operators he couldn't breathe. Duignam was found shot inside his off-campus apartment on the 1700 block of Diamond Street, suffering from gunshot wounds to the stomach, groin and forearm, according to a police report. He died on location after medics arrived.

 

"It's a terrible tragedy for this to happen to somebody that young," Ryan said. "We belive it was a robbery, and we belive it was by someone he knew."

While police continue to investigate who may have been inside with Duignam, Ryan said the apartment was ransacked, and money may have been taken, but there was no sign of forcible entry.

"Temple University Police and Philadelphia Police are investigating. While there are many questions yet to be answered, they do not believe that this was a random act," Temple president  Richard M. Englert said in a statement emailed out to students on Saturday in which he said the school would step up security patrols.  "On behalf of everyone at Temple, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Daniel’s family and friends at this tragic time."

As news of his death was reported, friends and coaches from his past mourned the death of Duignam, who was recalled as a polite and friendly student at Fox Business School from the Lehigh Valley who was soon to take his last final exam. Police said he had no criminal history.

"It is with great sadness and utter disbelief having lost a member of the Blue Eagle Basketball family at such a young age," wrote a Nazareth High School basketball coach on Twitter. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Duignam family."

Duignam was the grandson of the former mayor of Tatamy Borough in Northampton County. The town also posted a memorial on social media.

"I am beyond heartbroken to let you know that one of our own has fallen to a senseless tragedy," Tatamy Mayor Christopher Moren posted on Facebook. "Please keep the Duignam family in your thoughts as they are now having to deal with the unimaginable."

Duignam is reportedly the sixth Temple student to die since the 2017-18 academic year began.

Anyone with any information about the incident is urged to call 215-686-TIPS (8477) or text a tip to PPDTIP (773846).