Khalif Anderson, 20, was facing first degree murder charges in a wild shootout on Father's Day in Upper Darby, Pa.
He was released from custody on Monday after prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence when three witnesses refused to testify against him.
"Don't snitch, don't tell.' I mean, that's what it's all about at the end of the day," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.
Anderson was arrested after an alleged drug deal and robbery attempt went bad at a home on Sunshine Road back in June. Police say Litiff Morris staged a robbery at the house and one of his cohorts was killed.
Investigators say Anderson was a bodyguard for the drug dealer who was the target of the robbery and fired the shoot that killed the victim, Kanard Jones.
Police say three men from inside the home gave them statements identifying Anderson as the killer, but then backed out at Anderson's hearing.
The judge released him for lack of evidence.
"We got three people who identified Anderson as the shooter. We then come to the preliminary hearing and all three people who made the identification take the Fifth Amendment," said Chitwood.
Morris is in jail awaiting trial on charges including robbery and aggravated assault. So far, police say, he has refused to implicate Anderson.
Anderson's lawyer says his client is no saint, but is not guilty of the crime that day in Upper Darby.
"I'm not going to say he was not there, but I'll tell you this - with respect to homicide, robbery or shooting on that day - my client is 100 percent innocent," said defense lawyer Shaka Johnson.
Investigators say their plan is to keep trying to develop enough evidence to re-arrest Anderson as they continue to decry the "no-snitch" mentality of the streets.