Man arrested for murder witnessed by slain clerk

January 27, 2012 9:06:13 PM PST
Police say a notorious drug dealer was arrested for one West Kensington murder and is a person of interest in another.

Jorge Aldea was arrested without incident, hiding out in the 1500 block of Townsend Avenue in the Bronx.

Aldea was wanted in connection with the killing of 22-year-old Luis Chevere. He's also considered a person of interest in the killing of 29-year-old Reyna Aguirre Alonso, a store clerk who had witnessed the killing.

"I think it shows that the Philadelphia Police Department will do whatever it takes to track down those who commit crimes in our city. You can flee to other jurisdictions but we will catch you, we will track you down," said Mayor Michael Nutter.

Chevere's mother, who lives in another state, also reacted to word of the arrest.

"I am so glad that they finally caught him before he got the chance to hurt somebody else other than my son or that poor lady from the store," said Cathy Daly, the victim's mom.

Aldea left a neighborhood in terror on the 3300 block of Mutter Street.

Residents allege he was involved in a bloody turf war with rival drug dealers resulting in a number of shootings.

A memorial for Aguirre was found outside the Caribe Mini Market Friday evening.

The store's owner refuses to reopen out of fear.

Residents were also fearful of showing their faces for comment even though Aldea is in custody and there is a heavy police presence in the area.

"You could always imagine that everyone is in fear as you don't know what tomorrow will bring," said one resident.

At a meeting with police and officials, other residents were relieved to hear of the arrest.

"Justice was done or has been done. That's a good thing for the community," said Jose Gonzales.

"I'm very excited about that, the community can at least rest, be at rest a little bit," said Quetcy Lozada.

Aldea remains in custody in New York, where he is awaiting an extradition hearing.