PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police say they have two persons of interest in custody in connection with a deadly carjacking and hit-and-run crash that killed three children in North Philadelphia.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Monday morning he’s confident the two men are the suspects investigators had been seeking.
“Let me put it this way, I’m satisfied that we don’t have to have a manhunt out there right now,” he said. “Let’s deal with what we have now and unless things take a turn, then we’re pretty confident that we have people who can have valuable information we need to bring this to a successful conclusion.”
One of the men, a 19-year-old, surrendered to authorities Sunday with his mother and his pastor. The second man was picked up by police Sunday night near 6th and Cambria Streets in North Philadelphia.
Ramsey said no charges have been filed against either of the men at this point, but promised there would be a briefing later in the day Monday on the case.
A search for two suspects began Friday morning when three children, 15-year-old Keiearra Williams, 10-year-old Joseph Reed and 7-year-old Terrence Moore, were struck and killed by an out of control, stolen SUV while selling fruit at the intersection of Germantown and Allegheny Avenues in the city’s Tioga neighborhood. The vehicle had been carjacked at gunpoint just moments earlier.
The children’s mother, 34-year-old Keisha Williams, was injured in the crash. She remained in critical condition Monday at Temple University Hospital.
The carjacking victim remained hospitalized in fair condition.
A lawyer representing the 19-year-old man being questioned by police said Monday that he expects his client will be charged with three counts of murder. According to attorney Christopher Warren, his client was in the back seat of the stolen SUV at the time of the crash. He said his client is cooperating and has admitted his role in the crime.
“His only concern right now is the health of the mother, the health of the woman whose car was taken, that’s what he is thinking about right now. He’s not up there plotting some defense,” Warren said. “He literally cannot get from his mind the image of that little girl coming over the hood of the car. And when he saw the picture of the three kids in the paper, that’s when he and his mom sat down there and said he had to turn himself in and do everything he could to make it better, as much as you humanly possibly can.”
Police were offering a reward of $110,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the suspects. Ramsey said police did get tip calls, but he credited good detective work, as well.
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