An assailant wielding a military-style rifle killed five people and wounded two children during a shooting spree in a Philadelphia neighborhood on Monday, shooting on the open street and terrorizing passersby before being apprehended by police. Officials said they are treating the shooting as a random attack
The shooting was one of at least 348 incidents across the nation this year in which four or more people were injured or killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Here’s what we know, and don’t know, so far.
The attacker, dressed in a ski mask and body armor, opened fire in the Kingsessing neighborhood of southwest Philadelphia sometime after 8 p.m. Monday, authorities said.
The shooting is believed to have started at a home and moved to the street, where the attacker fired a barrage of shots at cars and people in the neighborhood. One woman’s car was hit while she was driving her family home, injuring her children.
The attack ended when the police chased the attacker into an alley and made an arrest.
The shooting, which took place before Independence Day, cast a shadow over celebrations and added to the nation’s growing fear of mass shootings, including a deadly attack at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill., last year.
Who were the victims?
The five people killed in Philadelphia were running errands, on their way home from work or lived in the neighborhood. They ranged in age from 15 to 59.
the youngest, Dajuan Brown, 15, was a rising sophomore at the Jules E. Mastbaum High School, a career and technical school in Philadelphia. He lived in his grandmother’s house for the summer.
The teenager “had his own spice on his dancing,” said his mother, Nyshyia Thomas, 34, who said her son’s death will be especially difficult for his siblings.
Ms. Thomas said she is still processing the fact that she will never see her “baby” again, who lifted the spirits of those around him. “You were sad around him, he didn’t let you be sad,” she said.
Lashyd Merritt, 20, was on his way to the shop when he was shot and killed. He had just graduated from high school and was working for the Internal Revenue Service, according to his brother-in-law, Dominique Evans.
“He was a kind person,” Mr Evans said. “Very caring, intelligent.”
Dymir Stanton, 29, was “good with people,” said Willa Mae Dill, an aunt who lives in the neighborhood and enjoyed frequent visits with her nephew. A sports fan, he had a girlfriend and a 4-year-old daughter.
Ralph Morales, 59, who worked in restaurants, was on his way home from work and was chatting with a friend moments before gunfire broke out, said the friend, Omar Davis. “Good fellow,” said Mr. Davis. “He grew up in this community, everybody knows him.” Mr. Moralis was scheduled to walk a daughter down the aisle at her wedding this weekend, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Joseph Wamah, Jr., 31World Health Organization lived in the neighborhood, was also killed. Police said they believe he was home alone at the time of the shooting and may have been the first victim.
Two children, ages 2 and 13, were hospitalized with injuries from the shooting and were in stable condition.
Who is the suspect?
The suspect, Kimbrady Carriker, 40, was indicted Wednesday morning on more than 30 charges, including murder, attempted murder, attempted murder and reckless endangerment.
There was some confusion at first about Mr. Carriker’s gender identity, and at a news conference on Tuesday, authorities used the pronouns “they/them” to describe him. But on Wednesday, officials with the district attorney’s office said they have no information indicating the suspect considers himself anything but male.
Mr. Carriker appeared in court Wednesday via video, offering one-word answers from a chair in the corner of a cinder block room, his arms crossed tightly over a white jumpsuit. He was ordered held without bond on the murder charges, and a hearing was set for July 24.
Authorities have released few details about a possible motive.
The prosecutor, Larry Krasner, said the shooting had “the characteristics of many random mass shootings that occur in the United States.” He added: “This doesn’t appear to be a whole bunch of people who knew each other very well.”
Amy HarmonJon Hurdle, Campbell Robertson and Joel Wolfram contributed reporting