PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The attorney for a man charged in a shooting death outside a well-known Philadelphia cheesesteak shop last week says he will argue that his client acted in self-defense.
Defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr. said Monday that 36-year-old Paul Burkert of Reading was “getting pummeled” before the shooting early Thursday outside Pat’s King of Steaks in south Philadelphia. Reports say the fight started over football, the Eagles and the Cowboys.
"You have a real hot headed deceased here arguing over something as silly as football and he was pummeling my clients face in and wouldn't stop and people were screaming for him to stop as you see in the video and my client pulled out a gun and shot him one time," said Attorney Charles Peruto.
Burkert was arrested a few blocks away from Pat's Steak's, according to police.
Burket is charged with murder, reckless endangering, evidence-tampering, conspiracy and weapons offenses in the shooting death of 23-year-old David Padro of Camden, New Jersey.
His attorney is still trying to determine if Burkert is allowed to be carrying a firearm.
Peruto says his client was visiting Philly and liked to try different cheesesteak places. He also claims that the argument didn't initially involve Burkert but that he was pulled into it.
"He really believes that when the toxicology comes back on the deceased you're gonna find that there was something in his system because he was just overtly excited," continued Peruto.
Padro's family and friends gathered for a vigil for him Sunday evening outside the shop.