Suspect in custody for murder of Philadelphia community activist

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Arrest in Powelton murder: Rick Williams reports on Action News at 11 p.m., October 9, 2017 (WPVI)

Philadelphia police say they have a suspect in custody for the murder of popular community activist Winnie Harris.

Nelson Giddings, 39, of the 2000 block of Stella Street has been charged with the crime. According to officials, Giddings has a long list of prior offenses, including murder, robbery, burglary, conspiracy and other offenses.

Giddings has been behind bars in Delaware County on an unrelated matter since the spring, authorities say.

Police believe he broke into the wrong house and Harris was not the intended target

Harris, 65, reportedly lived in her well-kept home with its lavender door in the 300 block of North Holly street for 40 years.

Last February, Harris was shot and killed in a second-floor bedroom.

Not long after the crime police release video of two persons of interest. One of them appeared to be carrying a handgun.

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Philadelphia police are still trying to identify two "persons of interest" in the murder of a popular community activist.


Harris was well known beyond her small block as a beloved West Philadelphia community activist. She had a passion for creating a greener city.

She was acting director of UC Green, a group that has harnessed the efforts of countless volunteers employing picks and shovels to plant literally thousands of trees over its 19-year history.

Community members were glad to hear of the arrest, hoping justice may finally be served.

"I am incredibly happy about this news, but I'm sure our volunteers will be even more happy. The community loved Winnie, and so finally getting some justice will be long overdue," said Ethan Leatherbarrow of UC Green.

"This is an amazing thing to hear and finally for justice to be served for an amazing human being who did so much in the community," said friend Tessa Renshaw.

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