Authorities say a second person is in custody in connection with the gunfire that killed three people and wounded 11 in a popular Philadelphia entertainment district over the weekend — but no charges have yet been filed in any of the shooting deaths.
City police announced Monday night that the person was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals, who said Tuesday that 34-year-old Rashaan Vereen was arrested without incident in South Philadelphia. He is charged with attempted murder, aggravated and simple assault, reckless endangering, conspiracy and weapons crimes as well as evidence-tampering and obstruction of justice, federal marshals said.
Police officers patrolling the South Street area in central Philadelphia at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday raced to the scene after hearing multiple shots and found several people with gunshot wounds lying on the sidewalk and in the street. Seeing a man on a corner firing a handgun at people about half a block away, one officer opened fire, and that man dropped his handgun onto the sidewalk and fled, authorities said.
Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore has said authorities have identified that man as Quran Garner, and he faces multiple charges including aggravated assault and aggravated assault on law enforcement officers. Authorities had said earlier that an attempted murder arrest warrant had been approved for another individual.
Authorities have said the gunfire started with a physical altercation between two people, both of whom then began firing a total of 17 shots at each other. One man, 34-year-old Gregory Jackson, was killed and the other was wounded; no charges are planned against him since both men had permits to carry and that shooting is considered self-defense. A man who was with Jackson at the time of the altercation was the other person sought.
Police said Garner then began firing back at the area of the initial confrontation until he was wounded in the hand by fire from the police officer. He fled and surrendered to other police officers at the scene of an earlier shooting nearby.
Authorities have said that the other two people killed by the gunfire, 27-year-old Alexis Quinn and an unidentified 22-year-old man, as well as many of the other people wounded by gunfire — who ranged in age from 17 to 69 — are believed to have been innocent bystanders.
It’s unclear whether Vereen or Garner have attorneys; a message could not be left Tuesday at a phone number listed for Vereen and a listed number for Garner couldn’t be found.
South Street is known for its entertainment venues and night life with multiple bars, restaurants and businesses. Surveillance video from local businesses showed scores of people fleeing as the gunfire broke out. Police are also investigating several other nearby shootings, one fatal, to see whether they might be related, officials said.