Suspect caught in police-involved shooting in July facing charges related to three homicides

 The scene at the police shoot-out in East Mt. Airy on July 22. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks, file)

The scene at the police shoot-out in East Mt. Airy on July 22. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks, file)

A Germantown man wounded in a shootout with police in East Mt. Airy will be held for trial in connection to four shootings, three of which were fatal.

Justin Mackie, 19, of Philadelphia, is charged with killing three separate individuals between July 9 and July 18 in North and West Philadelphia.

He is also being charged with the robbery and shooting of a cab driver in Germantown on June 4.

Mackie, who reported previous Germantown addresses on the 5100 block of Greene St. and the unit block of East Coulter St., was shot by police when they attempted to the arrest him and his stepbrother, 21-year-old Tevin Hammond in connection to a North Philadelphia homicide.

Officers from the Major Crime Unit and FBI agents were on the 200 block of East Montana St. near Musgrave St. just after 1 p.m. on July 22 to affect the arrest when they were spotted by Hammond and Mackie.

The suspects reportedly tried to flee through the rear of a home on Musgrave St., shooting at police in the attempt. Officials at the scene said that police returned fire multiple times, striking the two suspects.

Hammond was pronounced dead at the scene. Mackie, reportedly shot five times, was taken by medics to Albert Einstein Medical Center. No police were injured in the exchange.

June 4 shooting and robbery

On Wednesday, Mackie sat in the courtroom of Judge J. Scott O’Keefe wearing a brown long-sleeved t-shirt, jeans, and bright red sneakers. Clean-shaven, the rim of Mackie’s white kufi almost touched a tattoo of flames and a .38-caliber handgun on his forehead.

Mackie sat with his face tucked into the base of his thumb as William Carney III testified about the June cab robbery and shooting. Carney, 53, an employee of Germantown Cab Company, was driving eastbound on School House Lane near Germantown Avenue at approximately 1:30 a.m. in need of gas when he spotted two young black men looking for a ride.

Entering the cab near the intersection of Kenyon and Armat streets, Mackie and another young man only identified as Jamal told Carney they were looking for a ride to Mt. Airy. Carney told them he wouldn’t turn the meter on until he topped off his tank at a nearby gas station on Chelten Avenue.

With Mackie sitting in the rear passenger seat, Carney fueled up and cut through the McDonald’s parking lot and continued to Hortter Street via Germantown Avenue, Carney recalled that Mackie mispronounced Hortter St. in the attempt to sound unfamiliar with the neighborhood, which was improbable as he maintained a residence at the nearby intersection of Phil Ellena and Musgrave streets.

When they arrived at the 200 block of E. Hortter St. — the passengers claimed to be unsure of the exact address of their destination — Mackie exited the cab while his acquaintance seemingly searched for payment.

After asking Mackie for two dollars “for a good tip,” Jamal pointed a handgun to Carney’s right temple, saying, “Yeah, O.G., you know what this is.” Carney grabbed the gun, and as the two struggled, Jamal informed Mackie to circle the cab and go through the driver’s pockets.

While Mackie apparently circled the cab, the gun went off, prompting Carney to step on the gas and drive off, blood dripping from the gunshot wound in his right arm just above the elbow.

“I didn’t feel the bullet go in, but I could feel the blood drip and I couldn’t move my hand,” said Carney.

Heading toward Germantown Hospital, the wounded cab driver attracted the attention of police, who transported him to Albert Einstein Medical Center where he underwent three surgeries over the course of three weeks.

“I can’t open my [right] hand all the way,” said Carney, extending his hand in the air. “The doctor said my arm will never be the same.”

The charges

Following Carney’s testimony and cross examination by defense counsel, Detective Henry Glenn of the homicide unit recounted statements given to police by Mackie — also known as Mack or “Bang-Bang” — in the hospital following the July shootout with police and his subsequent arrest.

At the time, Mackie was recovering from wounds to his back, neck, and shoulder. On Wednesday, he demonstrated no outward signs of discomfort or injury.

In his statement to police, Mackie said he told his accomplice during the robbery not to kill the cab’s driver, as his own fingerprint was all over the car. Despite this, Mackie left the scene believing that the driver had been shot in the head, only learning about the wound to the arm after reading internet news accounts of the shooting.

Glenn indicated that the full identity of Mackie’s accomplice Jamal was unknown; Mackie told police they attended the now-defunct Delaware Valley High School in East Falls together.

In addition to the details of the robbery, Glenn told of the circumstances regarding three fatal shootings that Mackie was being charged with: the July 9 shooting of Carlos Barnes, 51, in Brewerytown; the July 15 shooting of Tyrone Hayes, 20, in North Philadelphia; and the July 18 shooting of Otis Wright, 20, in West Philadelphia.

Addressing O’Keefe, defense attorney Michael Medway asked for dismissal of a pending conspiracy charge in regard to the June cab robbery, suggesting that the prosecution had not made a prima facie case.

“Nothing indicates that [Mackie] knew what Jamal was going to do when he was pulling out his gun,” said Medway.

In response, Assistant District Attorney Brendan O’Malley countered that a conspiracy was established as soon as Mackie exited the car to rob the driver. Unmoved by Medway’s arguments, O’Keefe held Mackie for court on all charges, including murder, attempted murder, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, conspiracy, and firearms charges.

Denied bail and remanded to police custody, Mackie’s formal arraignment will take place on September 4.

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