Authorities have issued arrest warrants for eight people involved in a wide-reaching scheme to buy guns for gang activities in Philadelphia, including at least one mass shooting.
Authorities say members of multiple groups have bought guns and given them to people who could not legally own them, which were used for crimes.
The Gun Violence Task Force of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the state Attorney General’s office spent months investigating the shootings, including a mass shooting on July 4, 2021 at a community barbecue in which two people were killed, and another killing of a 15-year-old boy in March of the same year.
Assistant District Attorney Jeff Palmer said that Anthony Lacey Woodson is among those accused of crimes, including two counts of murder during the July 4 community barbecue. He allegedly was involved in the shooting as an act of revenge for an earlier shooting.
“As a result of Lacey Woodson’s belief that the group 524 committed this homicide, he decided to take matters into his own hands to try to avenge that death,” Palmer said.
Woodson is accused of the death of Antonio Walker, a 15-year-old shot to death on March 9, 2021, at the 5200 block of Pentridge Street. In addition, he’s facing charges of attempted murder, criminal conspiracy, and related offenses for a non-fatal shooting of two people at the 1600 block of South 54th Street on the same day, and aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy for a non-fatal shooting at the 6000 block of Walton Avenue.
District Attorney Larry Krasner is issuing a stern warning that police are making arrests and he’s prosecuting people who commit gun crimes.
“They are facing a vigorous and just prosecution by this DA’s office, which has a record for homicide convictions… They are looking at not a happy holidays, but many, many, many unhappy holidays as a consequence of their actions.”
Police have also charged:
- Jalen Mickens with two counts of murder, criminal conspiracy, four counts of aggravated assault, and related offenses for a mass shooting at the 100 block of South 60th Street in 2021, along with a non-fatal shooting in the 6000 block of Walton Avenue, and two counts of attempted murder and criminal conspiracy for the shootings of two people at the 1600 block of South 54th Street, all on July 4, 2021.
- Tyheed Cooper with criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, and related offenses for a non-fatal shooting on Jan. 16, 2021 at the 3800 block of Parrish Street.
- Kimberly Johnson with gun crimes and criminal conspiracy, along with two counts of unsworn falsification to authorities, and two counts of tampering with public records.
- Fabian Creary with criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, and related offenses for a non-fatal shooting on Jan. 16, 2021 at the 3800 block of Parrish Street. Creary is currently in police custody in Delaware County.
Police are also seeking three more suspects:
- Calvin Gatewood will be charged with gun crimes as well as four counts of criminal conspiracy, and related offenses.
- Nasir Wells will be charged with murder, conspiracy, and related offenses for the March 2021 killing of 15-year-old Antonio Walker; aggravated assault, conspiracy, and related offenses for the Jan. 21, 2021 shooting on Parrish Street; in addition to gun crimes and conspiracy.
- Ahmir Johnson, who is an alleged co-conspirator and son of Kimberly Johnson, will be charged with two counts of gun crimes and criminal conspiracy, as well as attempted murder and related offenses for an April 2021 non-fatal shooting on the 1100 block of Divinity Street.
Palmer explained that the shootings sometimes start as the result of social media posts, especially after other shootings in the city.
Krasner added that new funding for the crime lab will allow authorities to work on crimes quicker and arrest more people involved in the city’s shootings.
If you or someone you know has been affected by gun violence in Philadelphia, you can find grief support and resources online.
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