PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A community gathered Wednesday night for an anti-violence rally after a 2-year-old girl was killed and an 11-month-old boy was critically injured in shootings over the weekend. The event comes as a suspect confessed to the murder of 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera, sources tell Eyewitness News.
“I think when a 2-year-old and an 11-month-old can be shot on the street in their car seat and in their home, something is very, very wrong,” said Shira Goodman, executive director of CeaseFirePA.
And so a group of religious and community leaders is making another passionate plea to end the gun violence in Philadelphia.
“People are just so tired and angry and frustrated,” one activist said.
Wednesday evening’s gathering comes during major developments in the murder case of 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera.
Nikolette was shot and killed in her mother’s arms at their home on Kensington’s Water Street this past Sunday. She was struck in the head by a bullet fired by a man armed with an AK-47, according to police.
On Tuesday, investigators arrested 30-year-old Freddie Perez in Chester in connection to the shooting.
“The child’s father was not home at the time but we believe that’s where the beef was, you know, with the suspect and the child’s father,” Acting Philadelphia Police Commissioner Christine Coulter said.
On Wednesday, police arrested a second suspect on unrelated charges.
Sources tell Eyewitness News the 25-year-old confessed to the killing and was driven to the Water Street home by Perez in a grey sedan.
“We’re not going to give in to the hopelessness we’re hearing from some people, but to be together and pledge to honor these lives with action and to say not one more,” Goodman said.
That second suspect has not yet been formally charged and his name has not been released.