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Beloved Philadelphia barber killed in hit-and-run on Ogontz Avenue, witnesses say

Driver wanted in connection with hit-and-run that killed Philadelphia barber: police
Driver wanted in connection with hit-and-run that killed Philadelphia barber: police 00:58

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A beloved Philadelphia barber was killed in a hit-and-run Tuesday night while trying to cross the street in West Oak Lane. 

Philadelphia Police identified the victim as 47-year-old Toby Bryant.

"Everybody is in pieces right now, a lot of broken hearts in here," said Bryant's younger brother, who said his family is focusing on their faith and supporting one another.

Police said the hit-and-run happened just after 11 p.m. Tuesday. Police and paramedics responded to 911 calls about a vehicle hitting a person on the 7900 block of Ogontz Avenue. When they got there, they found Bryant lying unresponsive in the middle of the road, suffering from severe head trauma. He was pronounced dead minutes later at 11:18 p.m.

"I felt like I was dreaming even after I was woke, and then I went and called my mom," said Bryant's brother, who received the call in the middle of the night.

After reviewing private surveillance footage and speaking with witnesses, police painted a gruesome picture of how hard Bryant was hit while trying to cross the street.

"You can clearly see the victim crossing the street and you see a vehicle that appears to be a white or light-colored sedan going north on Ogontz Avenue. It appears to go at a high rate of speed when that vehicle did strike the victim," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. "You can see the victim's body being dragged at least 30-40 feet in the northbound direction. He was hit with such force, he was knocked out of his footwear."

Police said later Wednesday morning Bryant was crossing the street against the light and not in the crosswalk at the time of the collision. 

Beloved barber killed in hit-and-run in West Oak Lane in Philadelphia 01:54

Bryant's brother says he was walking home after getting dinner when he was hit.

According to a witness, who is friends with Bryant, the driver traveled about 100-200 feet after hitting the pedestrian, stopped, got out of their car, looked back at the victim and then got back in their car and left the scene. Police said the car, a silver Ford sedan, was last seen traveling north on the 8000 block of Ogontz Avenue.

Bryant was a father of four and a beloved barber at Golden Comb, which is located two blocks from the hit-and-run. On Wednesday, a black barber's cape was draped over his chair inside the barbershop where he worked for at least 15 years.

"His clientele was huge. He had a hand that was pretty special. I really considered him one of the better barbers in the city," Lester Nichols, who worked with Bryant, said.

As Bryant's family prays for healing, they said justice for them means accountability.

"We would appreciate it if this person comes forward and gives my family some closure. Be a role model and be an example for other people to do the right thing," Bryant's brother said.

Police searching for a silver Ford

Police said there are a lot of cameras in the area and they've already seen multiple angles of the incident, so they're confident they'll catch the driver responsible.

Police share new details after hit-and-run on Philadelphia's Ogontz Avenue 02:11

Police released a photo of the person they say was driving the car.

Philadelphia Police Department

Police have released images of the car wanted in connection with the hit-and-run as well. Officials said Wednesday they believe the vehicle is a 2005-2007 silver Ford Five Hundred with possible front-end and windshield damage. It may have pre-existing damage to the rear quarter panel on the driver's side as well, according to police. 

Anyone with information about the deadly hit-and-run is asked to contact the Philadelphia Police Crash Investigation Division at 215-685-3180 or 215-685-3181.  

Philadelphia Police Department
Philadelphia Police Department
Philadelphia Police Department
Philadelphia Police Department
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