An attacker using a military-grade rifle killed five people and wounded two children in a drive-by shooting in a Philadelphia neighborhood on Monday, firing shots into the street and terrorizing passers-by before being caught by police. Officials said they are treating the shooting as a random attack.
The shooting was one of at least 348 incidents nationwide this year in which four or more people have been injured or killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Here’s what we know and don’t know so far.
The assailant, dressed in a balaclava and bulletproof vest, opened fire in the Kingsessing neighborhood of southwest Philadelphia after 8 p.m. Monday, authorities said.
The shooting is believed to have started in a house and moved to the street, where the assailant fired a barrage of shots at cars and people in the neighborhood. A woman’s car was hit as she was driving by her family home, injuring her children.
The attack ended when police chased the attacker down an alley and made an arrest.
The shooting, which took place on the eve of Independence Day, cast a shadow over the festivities and added to the nation’s growing concern about mass shootings, including a deadly attack on the July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois, last year.
Who were the victims?
The five people killed in Philadelphia were either out running errands, walking home from work or living in the neighborhood. They ranged in age from 15 to 59 years old.
the youngest, Dajuan Brown, 15 years old, was a rising sophomore at Jules E. Mastbaum High School, a career and technical school in Philadelphia. He was staying at his grandmother’s house for the summer.
The teenager « had his little pepper in his dance, » said his mother, Nyshyia Thomas, 34, who said her son’s death would be particularly hard on his siblings.
Ms Thomas said she was still processing the fact that she would never see her ‘baby’ again, which had lifted the spirits of those around him. “You were sad with him, he didn’t let you be sad,” she said.
Lashyd Merritt, 20 years oldwas on his way to the store when he was shot and killed. He had just graduated from high school and worked for the Internal Revenue Service, according to him his brother-in-law, Dominique Evans.
« He was a kind person, » said Mr. Evans. « Very thoughtful, intelligent. »
Dymir Stanton, 29 years old, was « good with people, » said Willa Mae Dill, an aunt who lives in the neighborhood and enjoyed frequent visits with her nephew. A sports enthusiast, he had a girlfriend and a 4-year-old daughter.
Ralph Morales, 59 years old, who worked in restaurants, was driving home from work and had been chatting with a friend moments before the shots erupted, said the friend, Omar Davis. « Good buddy, » said Mr. Davis. « He grew up in this community, everyone knows him. » Mr. Moralis was supposed to walk a daughter down the aisle at his wedding this weekend, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Joseph Wamah, Jr., age 31Who lived in the neighborhood, was also killed. Police said they believed he was home alone at the time of the shooting and that he may have been the first victim.
Two children, aged 2 and 13, were hospitalized with injuries from the shooting and were in stable condition.
Who is the suspect?
The suspect, Kimbrady Carriker, 40, was arraigned Wednesday morning on more than 30 counts, including murder, attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment.
There was initially some confusion about Mr. Carriker’s gender identity, and at a press conference on Tuesday, authorities used the pronouns « they » to describe him. But on Wednesday, officials at the district attorney’s office said they had no information indicating the suspect considered himself anything but male.
Mr. Carrierer appeared in a courtroom Wednesday via video. He was represented by a public defender and offered one-word answers from a chair in the corner of a concrete room, arms tightly folded over white coveralls. He was ordered to be held without bond on murder charges and a hearing was set for July 24.
Authorities have released few details about a possible motive.
District Attorney Larry Krasner said the shooting had « the characteristics of many random mass shootings that occur across the United States. » He added, « This doesn’t appear to be a whole bunch of people who knew each other very well. »
Amy HarmonJon Obstacle, CampbellRobertson and Joel Wolfram contributed reporting