1 of 3 Suspects Arrested In Atlantic City Carjacking-Murder
MAYS LANDING, N.J. (CBS) — Bail has been set at $1 million cash for a 20-year-old Camden, NJ man charged with a fatal carjacking over the weekend at the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.
Phillip Byrd (far right in photo) was arrested in Camden late Tuesday, then taken to Atlantic County, where he is charged with killing a 28-year-old man and critically wounding his 24-year-old female companion (see related story).
According to investigators, the incident began early Sunday morning when Atlantic City police responded to a 911 call for help in an alleyway near the 500 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard. Upon their arrival, police discovered the body of 28-year-old Sunil Rattu of Old Bridge, NJ.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that Rattu had been shot twice in the head.
A female victim, 24-year-old Radha Ghetia of Parlin, NJ, suffered a gunshot wound in her upper body and is recovering, police said.
Authorities allege the three suspects stalked potential victims at two casinos before targeting Rattu and Ghetia at the Trump Taj Mahal garage. The suspects were captured on surveillance video before and after the carjacking and shooting.
Atlantic County prosecutor Ted Housel credits the release of surveillance tapes from the Taj Mahal parking lot with helping to track Byrd down.
“The videotapes and the help of the public and other authorities was terrific,” Housel said today.
The dragnet remains out for 20-year-old Eric Darden and 18-year-old Raheem Simmons, both also from Camden.
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Authorities found the getaway car the three allegedly used after abandoning Rattu’s vehicle shortly after the Sunday morning shooting.
Also recovered was a .357 magnum handgun, although that is not believed to be the murder weapon.
Byrd, Darden, and Simmons have each been charged with murder, weapons offenses, carjacking, kidnapping, theft, and robbery.
Authorities are asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Darden and Simmons to contact the Atlantic County prosecutor’s office at 609-909-7899.
Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060