Man arrested in deadly shooting of innocent bystander at Northeast Philadelphia bar

Anthony Nelson was taken into custody at Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City.

Thursday, July 7, 2022
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Anthony Nelson, who was wanted for the murder of 21-year-old Jailene Holton, was taken into custody at Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man wanted for allegedly shooting into a Northeast Philadelphia bar and killing an innocent bystander was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals on Wednesday.

Anthony Nelson, 47, who was wanted for the murder of 21-year-old Jailene Holton, was arrested at Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City.

"Our community is deeply diminished by the utterly appalling and senseless loss of Jailene, who held such great promise for a tremendous future. Our hope is that the quick capture of this heinous perpetrator will bring some comfort to the Holton family," officials said.

SEE ALSO: Family members identify woman killed when man fires into Northeast Philadelphia bar

According to police, the shooting happened around 11:30 p.m. on June 28 at the Philly Bar and Restaurant in Northeast Philadelphia.

Police said employees tried to kick three men out of the bar who were causing a disturbance, but one had to be forced out.

The man then walked to a pickup truck, about 200 feet away, and fired 15 shots into the bar, police said.

All three men left the scene in the truck.

Investigators said five of the bullets went through the front window, and one struck Holton in the head.

Police said she was hanging out with friends when they saw her fall to the ground.

James Holton, Jailene's uncle, said she was a good kid and was acting as the designated driver.

"She didn't go out often. Her friend called her up, she went out to Topgolf and then they came (to the Philly Bar and Restaurant). They were only going to be there for about 15 to 20 minutes and that's when the altercation broke out and whatever this guy started shooting," James Holton said.

Supervisory Deputy Marshal Robert Clark was there when Nelson was caught Wednesday.

"A lot of our investigators on the task force have children. This was an unnecessary random act of violence. It's a horrific act and we're just very grateful we were able to get out there and get him into custody in under 12 hours," said Clark. "We started at 5:30 (Wednesday) morning, exhausted some leads here in the city of Philadelphia. We had some other things we needed to run down in South Jersey and, lo and behold, we found a spot for him at Harrah's Casino."

Once there, Deputy Clark says they pinpointed Nelson in a room.

Anthony Nelson

"Once he realized we were there and weren't going away, we were able to get him into custody safely without anybody getting hurt," said Clark.

The fact Nelson was found in Atlantic City leads U.S. Marshals to think he was fully aware of what he was accused of.

"We do believe that he knew he was wanted," added Clark.

Neighbors in Philadelphia are now breathing a sigh of relief.

"I'm just happy. At the end of the day nobody deserves to die," said Sandip Panchel of Northeast Philadelphia.

Philadelphia police say Nelson is facing murder charges. He is currently awaiting extradition back to Philadelphia.

It's still unclear if the other men who left the bar in the truck will face charges.