Feds say Philly sheriff’s deputy illegally sold guns, including 2 used in deadly Roxborough shooting

Authorities say a former Philadelphia sheriff’s deputy illegally sold guns just two weeks after they were used in the deadly Roxborough High School shooting.

Investigators work the scene where multiple people were shot near a high school in Philadelphia

Investigators work the scene where multiple people were shot near a high school in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Working on a solution to gun violence and want to share it? Get in touch with gun violence prevention reporters Sammy Caiola and Sam Searles.

A former Philadelphia’s Sheriff Deputy has been arrested and charged with selling two firearms that were used in the deadly Roxborough High School shooting.

According to court documents, while serving as a Sheriff’s Deputy, Samir Ahmad sold the weapons to an FBI informant on Oct. 13. Authorities say Ahmad sold the two pistols, a Glock Model 17 and a Glock Model 22, and ammunition for $3,500.

The weapons were traced by law enforcement to the Sept. 27 shooting outside Roxborough High School that killed 14-year-old Nicolas Elizalde, of suburban Havertown, and hurt four other teenagers. Police say they found more than five dozen shell casings in the area after the attack.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

A release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Thursday said the FBI informant met with Ahmad in North Philadelphia. During the exchange, the informant allegedly told Ahmad that he was in the country “illegally” and would “get deported” if he was caught in possession of a BB gun. To which Ahmad reportedly responded, “You don’t got to worry about none of that.”

Ahmad was caught on video during the exchange. He also attempted to sell a third weapon, an FN Herstal pistol, and also brought an extra magazine for it.

On Oct. 19, Ahmad was arrested at the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office by the FBI and ATF after being fired from the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office. He had been a Sheriff’s Deputy since Feb. 2018. ​The court documents say Ahmad was fired for “his historically poor record of attendance at work.” It goes on to suggest he was making more money through the illegal sale of firearms and drugs than as a Sheriff’s Deputy.

In a release, U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero said Ahmad “abused his authority — to the greatest extent possible — as a sworn law enforcement officer.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“The defendant was allegedly illegally selling firearms on the street to at least one person who was not permitted to possess them, adding fuel to the already-incendiary fire of deadly gun violence in the City of Philadelphia,” Romero said via a release.

The Philadelphia Sheriff’s Department provided WHYY an official statement through email on Thursday.

Former Deputy Sheriff Samir Ahmad was hired in February 2018 under a previous administration. On October 19, 2022, he was served with a 30 day notice of intent to dismiss for repeated violations of the Philadelphia Sheriff Office directives, policies and procedures. As always, the Office of the Sheriff will continue to cooperate with local, state, and federal authorities.

Authorities also accuse Ahmad of selling another semiautomatic pistol and over 50 grams of methamphetamine to the FBI informant for $4,900 on Oct. 18, one day before being terminated.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years for charges of firearm trafficking, but is subject to additional charges for selling methamphetamine and another pistol to the informant on the day before his arrest.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General, and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys J. Jeanette Kang and Justin T. Ashenfelter.

Three suspects have been arrested and charged in connection at Roxborough High School.

Police are still searching for a 16-year-old, who is also charged with murder in the case. The U.S. Marshals Service said it is now offering up to a $5,000 cash reward for information leading to their arrest.

Authorities say the suspect is 6’3″ and weighs about 215 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. His last known address was in the 2900 block of Bambrey Street in Philadelphia. The teen should be considered armed and dangerous.

If you or someone you know has been affected by gun violence in Philadelphia, you can find grief support and resources online.

Get the WHYY app!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal