A 14-year-old boy has been charged with murder in connection with a shootout Friday at a West Philadelphia playground that killed Parks and Recreation employee Tiffany Fletcher.
Prosecutors did not identify the teenager; however, court records indicate he is Makie Jones, of West Philadelphia.
As many as three other shooters, investigators said, may have been involved in the exchange, which occurred at around 1:30 p.m. outside Mill Creek Recreation Center on the 4700 block of Brown Street.
Fletcher’s family held photographs of the 41-year-old mother during a news conference Monday at Mathematics, Civic and Sciences Charter School, where two of her three children are enrolled.
Jean Washington, Fletcher’s niece, asked witnesses and other people with information about the shooting to come forward.
“My aunt was a wonderful mother,” Washington said. “I want justice for her children. They deserve their mom.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said officers were nearby when the gunfire occurred, and one of them chased the teenage suspect down nearby Parrish Street.
Detectives recovered a “ghost gun” – a self-assembled firearm lacking a serial number – in a trash can on Parrish Street, Outlaw told reporters.
In addition to murder, Makie Jones faces several charges for illegally carrying a gun. He is being held without bail at the city’s Juvenile Justice Center.
The case has been filed in adult court, as is customary for homicides, District Attorney Larry Krasner said.
Mayor Jim Kenney, when addressing the city’s gun violence crisis, has frequently faulted state lawmakers for preventing Philadelphia from enacting stricter gun regulations.
“The fact remains that there are too many guns on our streets with devastating consequences,” he said at Monday’s news conference. “How a 14-year-old gets a gun in this commonwealth… something’s wrong.”
A GoFundMe was set up on Monday to benefit Fletcher’s family through the nonprofit Parks & Rec Heroes Fund.
Fletcher, who lived two blocks from Mill Creek Playground, became involved in the rec center over the summer as a pool maintenance attendant, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell said.
After the pool closed, she decided to continue working at Mill Creek, added Ott Lovell, who called Fletcher a “beloved member” of the staff.
“Our playgrounds, our parks, our rec centers should be safe and sacred places in our communities,” Ott Lovell said.
Last month, the Kenney administration began offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person who shoots someone within 500 feet of a school, rec center or library.
The city already puts up a standing $20,000 reward for such tips in homicide cases.