The suspect, Jeffrey Stepien, 49, was allegedly seen on Ring doorbell footage outside an apartment building in the city’s Bridesburg district for about 90 minutes Tuesday night, FOX 29 Philadelphia reported.
A former landlord identified Stepien from the footage and said he used to live at the apartment years ago, according to the station.
Less than 24 hours after the video was recorded, Stepien was accused of beating to death Samantha Maag, 31, in front of horrified witnesses on the eighth floor of the Regus building in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood just after 2 p.m., police said.
Stepien, who rented office space on the eighth floor, was charged with murder Thursday, authorities said. He is accused of walking up behind Maag as she sat in the reception area on the same floor and attacking her, according to police.
Maag, described by coworkers as a “team leader,” was struck at least five times in the head, police said. The victim also had defensive wounds to her arms and hands.
She was taken to a hospital and died shortly after arrival, according to authorities.
It’s believed that Stepien and Maag knew each other and had argued in the past, police said. A law enforcement source told FOX 29 that investigators are also seeing whether Stepien was living in the rented office space after being told that was not allowed.
After the brutal beating, police arrived to find the suspect getting off an elevator covered in blood and carrying a bag with two-foot-long bloody metal pipes, FOX 29 reported.
At least 15 calls to 911 were made after the alleged attack.
“People screaming, people hiding under desks, [a] person with a weapon. It was definitely a very violent, tragic incident that probably lasted longer than your normal homicide when someone gets shot,” Philadelphia police Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters.
Bridesburg is about 7 miles northeast of Old City.