One of the five people named as victims of the mass shooting in Philadelphia on the night of July 3 was killed 44 hours earlier, the city’s police department said Sunday.
Joseph Wamah Jr., 31, who was found dead in his home several hours after the mass shooting, is believed to have been killed by Kimbrady Carriker, the 40-year-old man charged with 10 counts of murder and attempted murder in that shot. But the timing of Mr. Wamah’s death raises new questions about a rampage that has hitherto appeared to have been conducted haphazardly and in a short space of time.
In a Sunday evening news release, the Philadelphia Police Department said Mr. Wamah had been killed early Sunday, the day before the mass shooting Monday night, adding that the determination was based on « information received via a source and confirmed by the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office and additional evidence.
Police said they received a 911 call reporting gunfire in the vicinity of Mr. Wamah’s home at around 2 am Sunday, « about 90 minutes after Mr. Wamah is believed to have been murdered. » But the call went to the wrong address: North 56th Street instead of South 56th Street. Responding officers searched the area, talking to neighbors, but found no one who had heard gunshots.
Police did not say in the release whether the dispatcher had followed up with the initial caller and refused to answer further questions.
In a separate statement released shortly after the police statement, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said the new information did not change the charges his office was making against Mr. Carrierer. He added that it is normal for new information to emerge in the course of an investigation, and that this one in particular is « very complex ».
« The bereaved family of the deceased has been notified of this new information, » Krasner said. « And I cannot express enough the pain I feel – and surely all officers and investigators working on this investigation must feel – that these developments could create confusion and retraumatize Mr. Wamah’s loved ones. »
Police said Mr. Carriker, wearing a balaclava and bulletproof vest, opened fire with an assault rifle Monday night, firing erratically on a busy street in Southwest Philadelphia. He killed four people: Lashyd Merritt, 20; Dymir Stanton, 29; Ralph Moralis, 59; and Dajuan Brown, 15, and injured two others, including a 2-year-old boy. After the police chased Mr. Carriker down an alley, he was arrested. He is currently being held without bond.
Police officers who responded to the shooting found the six who had been killed that night, some in cars and others on the street or sidewalk. Nearly three hours later, according to a police press release, « officers were directed » to a nearby house, where they found Mr Wamah, whom they described as « unresponsive » and « suffering from multiple gunshot wounds ». He was pronounced dead at 12:34 on Tuesday.