Community Mourns Loss Of Beloved Food Card Vendor - KMSP-TV

Community Mourns Loss Of Beloved Food Card Vendor

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A ribbon tied around a tree in the area of 34th and Walnut in honor of a food cart vendor who was killed Thursday morning. A ribbon tied around a tree in the area of 34th and Walnut in honor of a food cart vendor who was killed Thursday morning.
PHILADELPHIA -

Philadelphia police are combing through surveillance videos to try and find the person who stabbed a 68-year-old food cart vendor to death early Thursday morning.

Don Ly had operated his "fruit salad" cart at the corner of 34th and Walnut on the University of Pennsylvania campus for about a decade.

"Everyone in my office has known him for a very long time and goes to the cart," said Meg Lewis, a food cart regular. "So I think everyone is feeling very sad and everyone is thinking about his family."

"They've been here as long as I've worked here," said Paige Harker, a staffer at Penn's School of Engineering. "I go to them often, when I want something healthy."

Amy Hillier, a faculty member at Penn's School of Design- right next door to the cluster of food carts that included Ly's- tied a red ribbon around the tree next to the vacant spot where Ly's cart usually stood.

"Always a big smile," she remembered. "Incredible customer service. A really important part of our community here."

Police say Ly was out front of his home on the 400 block of Vollmer street in South Philadelphia around 5 a.m., preparing to tow his loaded cart to Penn, when he was viciously attacked.

Not robbed, just attacked.

"It appears the assailant came upon him without him knowing, (and) stabbed him several times," said Philadelphia Police Dept. Homicide Captain James Clark. "He went down, and then stabbed him several more times."

Ly was like so many food cart vendors: up before dawn, working in cramped quarters to make a buck and make our lives a little easier in the process.

A vendor just down the row from Ly's spot told FOX 29s Bruce Gordon, "He goes to work every day. From 6 till- he stays late, till 8 at night. Long day here and then go home and (the) next day, (the) same thing. Hard working."

"They're all really nice people," said Drexel student Veronika Martynova of the food cart vendors. "They care about their customers and they try to get to know your name and your order. I couldn't imagine somebody wanting to do that."

Philadelphia police ask anyone with information about Ly's murder to call them at 215-686-3334 or 215-686-3335.

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