A man has been sentenced to at least 3½ years in prison in a shooting death outside a well-known Philadelphia cheesesteak shop almost two years ago.
A Philadelphia judge imposed the sentence Wednesday on Paul Burkert, 38, of Reading, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to voluntary manslaughter and a firearms charge in the July 2021 shooting death of 22-year-old David Padro Jr. outside Pat’s King of Steaks.
Burkert was sentenced to 3½ to 10 years on the firearms charge and three to six years on the manslaughter count.
Jamie Frick, 38, of Newmanstown was sentenced to probation. She had pleaded guilty to simple assault and reckless endangerment in connection with a fight moments before the shooting.
Authorities said the early morning dispute, which was captured on video, began when the victim pulled into a parking spot outside the restaurant and bumped Burkert’s van with his car door. Early reports had incorrectly suggested that the fight began over a football rivalry.
During the fight that followed, Frick hit Padro in the head and Burkert pulled a gun and shot Padro, authorities said. The suspects fled in the van.
Burkert surrendered to police near Independence Mall and Frick was arrested several days later, authorities said.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that both defendants apologized to the victim's family, but Burkert said he fired because Padro had put him in a headlock, forcing him to gasp for air. Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Ehrlich told him that the decision to carry a gun — which he wasn't legally allowed to possess — turned a fight into a tragedy.
"This is a homicide that never, never should’ve happened," Ehrlich said.
The victim's father, David Padro Sr., told Burkert: "I just wish you would’ve thought twice."