Police release name of person arrested in fatal shooting of Philadelphia police officer

18-year-old Yobranny Martinez Fernandez was arrested in Cherry Hill, N.J. early Monday. Police say they continue to look for other people involved in Thursday’s fatal shooting

John Stanford speaking at a podium

Interim Commissioner John Stanford addressed the media during a press conference at Philadelphia Police Headquarters on Oct. 16, 2023. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Philadelphia Police have identified the 18-year-old arrested in the fatal shooting of Officer Richard Mendez Thursday at the Philadelphia International Airport.

Yobranny Martinez Fernandez, 18, of Camden County, New Jersey, is awaiting extradition back to Philadelphia, police announced Monday. Police say they received word overnight that Fernandez was in the Cherry Hill area and arrested him around 4 a.m.

Mendez, a 20-year veteran of the force, died after he and another officer, 60-year-old Raul Ortiz, confronted a group of people breaking into a vehicle late at an airport parking garage. 

The group fled in a stolen black Dodge Durango after the shooting, according to police. That same vehicle then dropped off 18-year-old Jesus Herman Madera Duran at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with several gunshot wounds. He was later pronounced dead.

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Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore said Monday afternoon the two officers were attempting to apprehend one of the suspects when the shooting happened.

Frank Vanore speaking at a podium
Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore told reporters Monday the weapon used in the deadly shooting at Philadelphia International Airport has not yet been recovered. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

“We think by the evidence someone came behind him and fired a weapon,” Vanore said. “If that individual was in front of them, they could have very easily been struck by those bullets that are moving in the direction of the officer from behind.

Vanore said the weapon used has not yet been recovered.

Quetcy Lozada speaking at a podium
District 7 Councilmember Quetcy Lozada read a statement from Mendez’s family during Monday’s press conference. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

“We believe one of the accomplices of Duran pulled the trigger. We just don’t have all the answers yet in the investigation. We’re working towards them now,”  he said.

A reward of $237,400 is being offered for any information relating to future arrests during the investigation.

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