2 teens in custody, charged with murder in South Street mass shooting

Qaadir Dukes-Hill and Nahjee Whittington were both taken into custody in Richmond, Virginia.

Friday, June 10, 2022
Officials ID 2 teens charged with murder in South Street mass shooting
The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has announced murder charges for two teenagers taken into custody following Saturday's mass shooting on South Street.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has announced murder charges for two teenagers taken into custody following Saturday's mass shooting on South Street.

Qaadir Dukes-Hill, 18, of Drexel Hill, and Nahjee Whittington, 17, of Philadelphia, are both facing murder charges, authorities said. Hill is charged in the death of Alexis Quinn, while Whittington is accused in the death Kristopher Minners, 22.

Nahjee Whittington (left) and Qaadir Dukes-Hill (right)

Both teens were arrested at an apartment in Richmond, Virginia, late Thursday morning by federal marshals, Philadelphia officials said at a news conference. They will be extradited to face charges in Philadelphia and will not be given bail.

"They had a team of over 20 undercover plain clothes officers and U.S. Marshals on the task force down there. I believe at a time they determined them to be in the apartment, they knocked and announced, made entry into the apartment and both subjects were taken into custody without incident," said Supervisory Deputy Marshal Robert Clark.

Three people died in the shooting on South Street, and several other people were injured.

Joanne Pescatore, homicide unit chief at the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, said that according to surveillance video, the two teens, who are friends and had fled to Virginia together, fired randomly into the crowd in response to hearing gunshots down the block. It did not appear that the teens and the victims knew one another.

"It appears that they had guns, took them out and just started randomly firing," Pescatore said.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said he expects to seek to try Whittington as an adult although he was a few days shy of 18 at the time. It was not immediately clear if they had lawyers representing them.

The minimum legal age for purchasing handguns in Pennsylvania is 21. Dukes-Hill and Whittington will be formally arraigned upon extradition to Philadelphia.

"I'm hoping if nothing else, this horrible incident shows the level of carnage that can be inflicted so quickly when people have easy access to guns. Getting a gun in Pennsylvania faster than a drivers license. It's ridiculous," said Mayor Jim Kenney.

South Street, on the south edge of central Philadelphia, is known for nightlife that includes bars, restaurants and other businesses. Surveillance video from a local business showed scores of people milling about on the sidewalks and in the street, then fleeing as the gunfire broke out.

Police officers were patrolling the area when they heard shots. They found several people with gunshot wounds lying on the sidewalk and in the street and began to render aid, authorities have said.

Philadelphia police are reviewing a video that appears to capture the moments leading up to a deadly mass shooting on South Street Saturday night.

Officials have said the gunfire started with a fight between two people who then began firing a total of 17 shots at each other. One man, 34-year-old Gregory Jackson, was killed and the other wounded; no charges are planned in that case since both had permits to carry and that shooting is considered self-defense, authorities have said.

On Monday, police announced the arrests of two additional suspects for their alleged roles in the weekend shooting.

Only Action News was there as a man identified as Rashaan Vereen, 34, was taken into police headquarters on Monday night. U.S. Marshals made the arrest in the 2300 block of Hemberger Street in South Philadelphia.

He is being charged with attempted murder and other related offenses.

Left: Rashaan Vereen Right: Quran Garner

A second suspect, Quran Garner, 18, is charged with multiple offenses, including aggravated assault and aggravated assault on law enforcement. He did not have a license to carry a gun, Pescatore said.

Police believe all of the people responsible for the violence on South Street are in custody at this point.

SEE ALSO: 2nd suspect wanted in South Street mass shooting arrested by US Marshals

Among the three people killed were two innocent bystanders, identified as 22-year-old Kristopher Minners and 27-year-old Alexis Quinn.

Alexis Quinn / Kris Minners

The third person killed has been identified as 34-year-old Gregory "Japan" Jackson, who authorities said was one of the shooters.

Of the 11 wounded, a man identified as Mika Townes remains in serious condition.

Police sources confirm Vereen is the man seen in on video picking up Jackson's gun and passing it off to someone in a blue hoodie. Then he stays with Jackson.

Garner was identified as one of the shooters.

"Quran Garner is on video shooting back toward the area where the initial confrontation takes place between Gregory Jackson and Mika Townes, who is a victim in this particular case. (Quran Garner), it's our belief, was a friend or was with Mika Townes when this initial altercation starts," Pescatore said.

"After the initial altercation, guns are drawn by Gregory Jackson and Mika Townes. Gregory Jackson shoots at Mika Townes first. Mika Townes returns fire, shooting and killing Gregory Jackson. As a result of that, Quran Garner then begins to fire down the street towards South Street, towards where the initial confrontation took place."

Officials said officers assigned to the 200 block of South Street heard the initial gunfire and quickly responded.

Investigators said Garner then pointed his gun at police. Officers fired and hit his hand.

"It is at that point that Philadelphia police began to shoot after Quran Garner pulls a gun, has gone out and looks in their direction. They shoot at him, shooting his hands," Pescatore said.

Pescatore said Garner was taken to Jefferson University Hospital for surgery for "an injury sustained when the police shot back at him."

Pescatore said Garner used a ghost gun with an extended magazine. It was left at the scene.

The DA's Office said they believe several of those connected to the shooting are part of the local boxing scene.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said at least four guns - three 9mm weapons and one 40-caliber firearm - were involved in the mass shooting. He said it is possible there are more firearms involved.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner provides updates on the South Street mass shooting investigation.

Queen Village residents meet with commissioner and district attorney

Business owners in the city's Queen Village neighborhood are used to a lot of traffic, but residents say something needs to be done to handle the increasing crowds at night along South Street.

Quality of life concerns came up the most at Wednesday's meeting inside the Nebinger School auditorium. People are concerned about smaller situations escalating to bigger problems. Community members think their points were made clear. Now they hope to see them get resolved.

"These people came out because they really want to hear you be as honest and as genuine as you can be," said Eleanor Ingersoll, president of Queen Village Neighbors Association.

"I want to know what you're doing about these people committing complete lawlessness every other day," said one audience member.

Members of a shaken Philadelphia community met with the police commissioner and district attorney Wednesday night to share their fears and to demand action in the wake of Saturday night's mass shooting.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says patrols are not staffed like they were back in the day, with multiple events happening in the city in one weekend.

"Officers saying their hands are tied and they can't do this or do that, we are making it very clear my direction has been: your job is to not only be present, enforce the laws and to get ahead of something before it happens," explained Outlaw.

City Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson introduced legislation Thursday to modify the curfew for minors during the summer months.

The bill would change the curfew for all minors 16 and older to 10 p.m. Police officers would take curfew violators to a curfew center or police division, but they are not under arrest.

Kenney says there are not enough police to do it.

"I'm not opposed to it in theory, but I have to make sure we can do the operation without making us less safe because we're taking kids to a curfew center," the mayor said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.