Suspect arrested in shooting death of 2-year-old girl

Police have arrested a suspect in the shooting death of 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera.



This story originally appeared on The Philadelphia Tribune.

Police have arrested a suspect in the shooting death of 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera.

Police announced Tuesday night that a suspect has been taken into custody in Chester.

“He has not yet been formally charged, so we can not identify him at this point,” a police spokeswoman said in an email. “This remains a highly active and fluid investigation. Accordingly, we can not provide additional details at this time.”

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The suspect or suspects opened fire on the North Water Street home with an assault rifle at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, police said.

One bullet hit Nikolette’s head, killing her, police said. She was pronounced dead at 3:41 p.m.

Nikolette’s mother was holding Nikolette at the time of the shooting; a bullet hit her left arm and another grazed her head, police said. A contractor who was working in the home at the time was hit in the abdomen, police said. Both Nikolette’s mother and the contractor were rushed to Temple Hospital, where they were listed in critical condition.

Detectives counted six bullet holes in the front of the house and found six 7.62X39 fired rifle casings in the street directly in front of the house.

Police are investigating whether the shooting was connected to another shooting that occurred a few minutes earlier and about half a mile away on the 400 block of East Clearfield Street. The suspects in that shooting reportedly opened fire on a black SUV using an assault rifle and a .40-caliber handgun. Detectives recovered 10 7.62X39 fired rifle casings and one .40 caliber fired casing.

Nikolette was one of two young victims of gun violence over the weekend.
On Saturday, 11-month-old Yazeem Jenkins was shot while in the backseat of a car driving on North Seventh Street, police said.

Bullets struck Yazeem once in the head, once in the neck and twice in the buttocks, police said. The little boy remains in critical condition and is not expected to fully recover from his wounds, police said.

The city has offered rewards of $30,000 in each case for information that leads to arrests.

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