Philly teen arrested in connection to 4 murders, including fatal shooting on prison grounds

The exterior of Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility as seen through a fence

Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia’s Holmesburg neighborhood. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Updated: 1:30 p.m.

Philadelphia police have arrested a teenager in connection to the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Rodney Hargrove, who was killed last month on prison grounds less than an hour after he was released from the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in the Holmesburg section of the city.

Deputy Police Commissioner Benjamin Naish said Wednesday that 16-year-old Ameen Hurst had been charged with Hargrove’s murder, which unfolded around 2 a.m. on March 18.

“At this time, it appears that Mr. Hargrove, who was killed in that incident, was the tragic victim of mistaken identity,” said Naish during a virtual news conference. He said police have additionally connected Hurst to the murders of three other people.

Hargrove was incarcerated for roughly a week before he was released.

Officials say Hargrove left the facility around 1 a.m. after posting bail on theft and firearm charges. A dark-colored vehicle then approached him as he waited for a ride at a SEPTA bus stop across the street.

Authorities say the car followed Hargrove onto prison grounds, where he was shot multiple times before the vehicle speeded off. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hours after the shooting, Philadelphia Prisons Commissioner Blanche Carney told reporters that the car was able to pursue Hargrove onto the facility’s parking lot because a correctional officer had manually raised the parking arm at the main gate to Curran-Fromhold for “whatever reason.”

The incident, which sparked calls for Carney to resign, remains under investigation.

Eric Hill, business agent for Local 159 of AFSCME District Council 33, has said there is no surveillance footage of the shooting because there were no cameras at the main gate of the Curran-Fromhold facility, which prison officials have declined to confirm “due to the active investigation.”

Correctional officers assigned to the main gates on State Road were issued bulletproof vests after Hargrove’s killing.

Hurst was also arrested in connection to the Christmas Eve murder of 20-year-old Dyewou Scruggs on the 1800 block of Wynwood Road in West Philadelphia.

In addition, police say homicide investigators used video surveillance and social media evidence to tie Hurst to a quadruple shooting on March 11 that left two people dead — 17-year-old Tamir Brown and 24-year-old Naquon Smith.

This article has been updated to include the names and ages of all of the victims.

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