Suspect arrested in ambush shooting that left 3 dead in Philadelphia's Mayfair neighborhood

Homicide detectives say 24-year-old Edwin Vargas is now in custody.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023
New details on arrest of man accused of killing 4 in Philadelphia
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Police say they marked more than 50 bullet casings on the ground. After the victims were hit, some of them were run over by the shooters.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police have arrested a man accused of killing four people in two different shootings earlier this month.

Twenty-four-year-old Edwin Vargas was arrested last week and is facing multiple charges of murder and other related offenses.

Authorities say Vargas was involved in a deadly ambush on January 9 near Rowland Avenue and Guilford Street in the city's Mayfair section.

Surveillance video shows several suspects getting out of a waiting minivan with guns drawn. They immediately start firing towards four men, who police say had just come back from a trip to the mall.

Christopher Batista, 18, Miguel Delgado, 19, and Miguel Santos, 24, were all killed in the shooting. A fourth victim, identified as a 28-year-old, was hospitalized in critical condition.

Police say they marked more than 50 bullet casings on the ground. After the victims were hit, some of them were run over by the shooters who drove off in the same van.

Vargas is also allegedly responsible for the first homicide of the year that claimed the life of 28-year-old Caesar Santos on Jan. 3.

SEE ALSO: Deadly ambush shooting in Mayfair caught on surveillance video

Action News has also learned that Vargas was charged with shooting up the home of his romantic partner on December 30 and again on January 4.

Court documents show he even left a message on the victim's voicemail that said, 'Yeah I'm the one who shot your mom house up this morning."

Vargas is facing terroristic threat charges and others in connection with that incident.

During a press conference Wednesday, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw talked about crime in the city.

"Violent criminals have to be taken into custody. There have to be consequences. They must be held accountable and that's exactly what we're announcing today," said Outlaw.

Outlaw also talked about the new pinpoint strategy, placing more patrols in high-crime areas and how it's working to get criminals off the street.

"It's a very small percentage of individuals of trigger pullers that are responsible and are driving the largest proportion of crime, violent crime here in our city," she said.

Vargas has a lengthy criminal record and served time in 2020 for illegal firearms possession.

Police are still searching for several suspects in connection with the Mayfair shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.

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