Moments later, a woman called 911, saying she heard gunshots in the area. Cop cars came racing, lights flashing and sirens blaring.
When they arrived, 25-year-old Cione was lying in the street near the curb, with three bullets in his body. He was scooped up and rushed to Saint Joseph’s Hospital.
Across the city, a priest and Philadelphia detective walked up the steps to Cione's family's home, and knocked on the door. A small Italian woman answered. With just a few words uttered, she raced upstairs to get her husband and younger son, Nick.
They had to get to the hospital.
“I remember (the detective) turning off the radio,” Nick Cione, now a retired Philadelphia detective, recalled as he poured over pictures, articles, and mementos of the tragedy that would change his life forever.
The two brothers were nearly inseparable as kids. Fred graduated from Frankford High School; Nick followed. They both played on the recreation center sports teams, which their father coached.
Fred went to Vietnam; so did Nick. Fred went into the police academy; so did Nick. The pair drove to school together, stayed with their grandmother at night together, and hung out with friends, together.
Nick said he doesn't remember the last conversation he had with Fred, just as he doesn't remember the moment Commissioner Frank Rizzo told his family their beloved son and brother was dead.
“I remember seeing his jacket just sitting there, and I thought I saw mud on it, and I couldn't figure out what happened,” he said.
The murder captivated headlines for months. Fred’s picture even landed in Life magazine later that year, for remaining an unsolved murder.
Detectives scoured North Philadelphia, knocking on doors, pulling in potential witnesses for questioning, and visiting speakeasies to hear what neighbors may say.
Decades later, in 1994, a former homicide detective sent a letter to Nick, saying he never forgot the man who would later become the only unsolved case of a police officer murdered in Philadelphia.
His name was Gerald Ross Jr. He was one of the first to respond to the scene.
Nick kept that letter, not knowing that years later, it would be the thing that forever connected the two men.