PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police revealed Friday there’s a connection between the tragic shootings of two young children from over the weekend. Police say that 29-year-old Francisco Ortiz, the suspect in the shooting of 11-month-old Yazeem Jenkins, gave 25-year-old Tayvon Thomas and 30-year-old Freddie Perez the assault rifle that was used in the fatal shooting of 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera.
“We believe that Francisco Ortiz supplied the AK47 that was used to commit the homicide on Water Street. There is a nexus as far as Francisco Ortiz is concerned,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith said.READ MORE: Fire Damages Rowhome In Philadelphia's Logan Neighborhood
Thomas has been charged with murder and Perez has been charged with attempted murder in Nikolette’s shooting death. Nikolette was killed Sunday afternoon when police say Thomas fired an AK-47 assault rifle into her family’s Kensington home on the 3300 block of Water Street.
Nikolette was in her mother’s arms when she was struck in the back of the head and killed. Her 24-year-old mother was shot in the right side of her head and once in the back.READ MORE: Delaware County Mother Shares New Normal Of Pandemic Learning With Special-Needs Child
Investigators believe Thomas and Perez thought the man cleaning carpets inside the home was Rivera’s father who was in a dispute with the gunman over drugs.
Eleven-month-old Yazeem was critically injured when he was shot last Saturday night while riding in a car near North 7th and West Luzerne Streets in the Hunting Park section of the city. The baby was shot four times, including in his head and chest.
Police say if the baby does survive, he will most likely be a quadriplegic.MORE NEWS: Penn-Delco School District Approves Diversity Committee After Sparking Controversy With Board Member
Ortiz was taken into custody on Thursday morning while he attended court on an unrelated charge. He was been charged with attempted murder and other related charges.