First charges approved in South Street shooting

South Street shooting
Philadelphia Police investigators work the scene of a fatal overnight shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, Sunday, June 5, 2022.
AP Photo/Michael Perez

Prosecutors have approved charges against one of the gunmen allegedly involved in Saturday night’s mass shooting on South Street and issued an arrest warrant for another suspect.

Quran Garner, who is hospitalized after being shot by police, is set to be charged with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assaulting law enforcement, District Attorney Larry Kranser’s office said Monday.

Garner is accused of firing his handgun — a self-assembled, unserialized “ghost gun” with an extended magazine — in the direction of officers responding to the altercation that investigators believe spawned the bloodshed.

At least four people fired guns during the chaos, authorities said, and 14 people were shot — three fatally — at around 11:30 p.m. Saturday on South Street between 2nd and 4th streets.

Three of the four men involved in that initial confrontation, which escalated from an exchange of words to gunfire, appear to be members of the boxing community, Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore told reporters Monday.

She said 34-year-old Gregory Jackson bumped into Micah Towns on the street, and the two men got into a fight.

Another man accompanying Jackson, who prosecutors have not identified, joined in the beating, throwing Towns against a storefront window. The man is now wanted for attempted murder and other charges, officials said.

Jackson, according to Pescatore, was the first to draw his gun, firing at Towns, who pulled out his own firearm. Both men were licensed to carry and exchanged a combined 17 shots, she said.

Towns, who remains hospitalized with serious injuries, fatally shot Jackson; however, Krasner said the shooting is being treated as self-defense.

The unnamed man remained at the scene, speaking briefly to police officers, Pescatore said. That’s when Garner, who had been with Towns, began shooting toward the area where the initial fight occurred.

An officer fired back, hitting Garner in the hand, according to prosecutors. He ran away, eventually approaching police who were responding to another shooting in which no one was injured at nearby 4th and Bainbridge streets.

Garner’s age was not provided by the DA’s Office.

Pescatore said detectives are still working to determine who fired the shots that killed two bystanders — 27-year-old Alexis Quinn and 22-year-old Kris Minners — and injured 10 others in the crowd.

At least one shooter, who was using a .40 caliber gun, has not been identified by investigators.

Jackson, who went by the nickname “Japan,” was a boxing trainer and former professional fighter who competed in 19 bouts between 2012 and 2019, according to the website BoxRec. Towns’s connection to the sport was not immediately clear.

Minners, who was out celebrating his 22nd birthday Saturday, counseled 2nd and 6th graders as a residential advisor at Girard College, where he also attended school.

“Kristopher was so proud to return to Girard and serve as a role model to the young boys in his care,” Girard College President James Turner said in a statement. “He was doing an amazing job for us.”

Other victims of Saturday night’s shooting ranged in age from 17 to 69, and five of the 11 people with non-fatal injuries were 17 or 18 years old, according to police.

The bloodshed on South Street drew comparisons to recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, and brought renewed calls for stricter gun control laws and measures to reduce Philadelphia’s gun violence epidemic.

Mayor Jim Kenney’s office, in response to the shooting, closed South Street and nearby blocks between Front and 6th streets from 8 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday to all vehicles and pedestrians, except for residents, business owners and employees.

City Councilman Mark Squilla, whose district includes the scene of the mass shooting, has said he wants the popular corridor to be shuttered until a safety plan is developed.

Officials are “in discussions to engage the impacted community members and businesses in the area to discuss safety and security moving forward for this key commercial corridor for residents and visitors,” Kenney spokesperson Kevin Lessard told Metro.

Kenney, who was in Reno, Nevada, for a mayor’s summit when the shooting occurred, returned to Philadelphia on Monday, canceling a planned second trip to New York City for another conference.

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