PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Police announced the arrest of a man they say shot and killed three people. Police added the gunman chose his victims randomly and the attacks were completely unprovoked.
Police are calling this a totally random act of violence and they feared this suspect could strike again.READ MORE: Person Of Interest In Custody Following Stabbing That Left Woman Dead In West Philadelphia, Police Say
They identified the suspect as 21-year-old Derrick Jones and he was taken into custody Thursday morning during a raid in West Oak Lane where he lived with his grandmother and younger sister.
Police released Jones’ mugshot and tell CBS3 he is the man behind three random killings. Jones followed his victims after they got off a SEPTA bus, both shootings happened around the same area.
Police say he is responsible for shooting and killing of 20-year-old Zamir Syrus back on June 28, near Broad Street and Chelten Avenue.
And last week on July 7, police say 21-year-old Tyheim Tucker and his friend, 20-year-old Justin Robert Smith, were shot multiple times, not far from their home near West Oak Lane as they were coming home from work.
“I was the first person to find out and I had to tell everyone of my family members and see them hurt,” Rob Sonder, the brother of the late Justin Smith, said. “Truly in my heart, I don’t even all the way believe it. There’s no words for the pain that I’m feeling and there’s no words for any of this. This is beyond describing.”
Sonder, his sister and his younger brother Justin, all grew up in their home in West Oak Lane. Now, every time they look down the block, they are constantly reminded of their brother’s brutal murder.READ MORE: Phillies Honoring 1980s World Series Championship Team Prior To Sunday's Game Against Nationals
“I’m mourning his loss but also the loss of the future he could have had,” Alexis Smith, Justin’s sister, said. “Justin was fun, he was considerate, he liked to laugh.”
Security video from SEPTA helped track down the suspect. Police say that during that raid they found a 45-caliber gun that matched what was used in the shootings, and they found the clothing the suspect was wearing in that security video.
CBS3 was also told that Jones was on probation for another crime he committed in 2019, and was not allowed to have a gun in his possession. The mugshot on file helped to identify him.
Friday afternoon, police said his motive had all the makings of a serial killer. He randomly followed his victims onto a SEPTA bus, got off one stop after to get ahead of them and then he stalked and killed them.
“The motive is unknown,” Capt. Jason Smith said Friday. “But that is the burning question; why? Why did Mr. Jones murder in cold blood three males, two of which had absolutely no record? They were both coming from the Center City area, from their respective jobs, happened to get on the train and Mr. Jones happened to be there at the same time. Why he marked them is anyone’s guess. But we have not established any connection.”
Jones is facing three counts of murder.MORE NEWS: 2nd Street Festival Bringing Beer Gardens, Food Trucks, And Live Music To Northern Liberties For 1st Time In 2 Years
Police are also looking into the possibility he could be connected to other shootings and crimes in our area.