Suspect In Officer’s Shooting Death Charged With Murder; 2nd Suspect Identified
By Todd Quinones and Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A suspect was officially charged with murder Friday in the shooting death of a Philadelphia police officer, while authorities identified a second suspect wanted in the case.
On Friday morning, the District Attorney’s Office approved the murder charge against suspect Rafael Jones. Jones has also been charged with robbery and other released offenses.
Investigators say they are currently searching for 19-year-old Chancier McFarland for his alleged role in the shooting death of Officer Moses Walker Jr.
The murder charge against Jones came a day after he allegedly admitted to his role and provided details of the crime to authorities. Jones was picked up from an apartment complex in Southwest Philadelphia Wednesday on a bench warrant, after he failed to meet with his probation officer.
Although authorities believed on Wednesday that Jones was the shooter in Officer Walker’s killing in North Philadelphia early Saturday morning, they classified him as a person of interest.
According to court documents obtained by Eyewitness News, Jones has a criminal history of drug and weapons charges. He was charged Thursday in connection with a robbery in Germantown back in February.
“He’s a thug, he’s a career criminal. I don’t know what else I can say about him,” said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
Court records indicate Jones was arrested and jailed in February 2012 for violating his probation from a 2008 weapons charge in which he was sentenced to two to four years in prison.
On July 25th, Jones was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device when he was released from jail on August 8th; 10 days before Officer Walker was murdered. Jones was scheduled to have that device attached Wednesday, but failed to appear for his appointment with his probation officer.
What remains to be determined is why Jones was released from jail without his electronic device to track his whereabouts.
“There are a lot of details that we have to review, with court actions, the probation department,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. “It’s not a perfect system, we’re going to find out what happened.”
The judge in the case was not available for comment.
“We are very confident. We have some of the best detectives around upstairs. We feel like we’ll have him very soon,“ said Captain James Clark of McFarland.
Officer Walker was gunned down during an attempted robbery in North Philadelphia on August 18th.