Suspect identified, charged in shooting outside hookah lounge near Temple University; 3 women injured

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has identified and charged a man following a shooting that injured multiple people outside a hookah lounge near Temple University’s campus.

Eryk Leach-Gilliam, 23, is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly engendering another person and other related crimes.

But his mother said he didn’t do anything wrong.

“People think my son did it and he’s an innocent person. He’s a good kid,” said Diane Leach, who was at the hookah lounge when the shooting started.

The shooting happened before 3 a.m. Sunday outside of Hubble Bubble Hookah Lounge on the 1000 block of Diamond Street.

The lounge is underneath an off-campus apartment building and across the street from the football team’s practice facility.

Officials said Leach-Gilliam allegedly pulled out a firearm and held it upwards. In response, the armed security guard fired multiple times at the suspect.

SEE ALSO: Crime data: How safe are students when they step off campus in Philadelphia?

Leach-Gilliam then allegedly fired back toward the lounge. The security guard was not struck, but three women inside the lounge were shot.

“It was chaotic. Everyone screaming everyone trying to jump over top of each other,” said Leach. “There was people on the ground, people screaming.”

Police say all three are in stable condition, and none were students at Temple University.

The victims range in age from 19 to 47 years old.

Leach said her son fired in self-defense because the security guard started shooting.

“The security guard is shooting at us and everybody that’s outside and they said my son returned fire,” Leach said. “I think the security officer is trying to cover his behind and blame everything on my son.”

The security guard is not charged with anything. Owners of the hookah bar would not comment on

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