Crime scene tape filled the parking lot of the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading's Entertainment Square on Wednesday.
A young a man was shot a block away and wandered near the art center's parking lot, where he took his last breath, said investigators.
Alexander Stewart, of the 100 block of Walnut Street, was spotted just before 5 a.m. by passersby near the art center.
Reading's police chief, the mayor, and the Berks County district attorney stood inside the crime tape after the body was found in the 100 block of Thorn Street.
Detectives canvassed the area for evidence, and people stood and watched the scene Wednesday morning.
Stewart, 24, was pronounced dead just before 7:30 a.m. He was found with a gunshot wound to the back, said investigators.
"Most people had heard a single gunshot sometime in the early morning hours. The vast majority indicate they only heard one shot," said Capt. Damond Kloc, Reading Police Dept.
Investigators believe Stewart was shot after an argument in the 200 block of Walnut Street, ran across the street and fell near the arts center.
"I just think it's terrible that it happened, but this neighborhood is getting pretty rough," said Elsie Terrell, who lives on Walnut Street. "I just hope it don't happen around here no more, that's all I know. I just hope it all stops."
The art center opened as business as usual. The GoggleWorks is a place Reading has used as a launching pad to help bring more people into the city. After having a body found feet from the building, GoggleWorks officials assured everyone the crime had nothing to do with them.
"This was a happening that did not occur on GoggleWorks property; it ended on GoggleWorks property," said Gust Zogas, executive director of GoggleWorks.
No arrests have been made. Anyone with information about the killing is urged to call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. Tips that lead to arrests in homicide cases are worth up to $10,000.