DA: A fistfight devolves into gunfire, random shots in crowd

Jun 8, 2022, 10:35 PM | Updated: Jun 9, 2022, 5:45 pm

ADDS CONTEXT AND DETAIL THAT THESE BULLET HOLES ARE FROM A PRIOR SHOOTING - Blood is seen at the scene of a fatal overnight shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, Sunday, June 5, 2022, where bullet holes on a storefront window from a prior shooting can also be seen. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

(AP Photo/Michael Perez)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When two teen friends in matching sweatshirts heard gunfire up ahead in a crowd of people on South Street in Philadelphia on Saturday night, each pulled out his own weapon and started firing at random, officials said Thursday.

One struck and killed a youth counselor who was out celebrating his 22nd birthday on the unusually warm night, while the other killed a 27-year-old home health aide, authorities said. The teens also struck at least one of the 11 people wounded in the melee, which began at least a block away when a fistfight devolved into an exchange of gunfire that killed a third person, one of the gunman involved in that fight, authorities said.

“Sadly, there’s nothing new about (when) people hear shots fired, they reach for whatever weapons they have,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said Thursday, when the pair of 18-year-old murder suspects were captured in Virginia by U.S. marshals.

“We have what started out as an unfair fistfight — two people attacking one person. In a country where you have some 300 million people and 500 million guns, it went from fists to bullets very, very quickly,” Krasner said.

Quadir Dukes-Hill, 18, and Nahjee Whittington, who was 17 at the time of the shooting but is now 18, both face murder charges, authorities said. Dukes-Hill is charged in the death of Alexis Quinn, 27, while Whittington is accused in the death of Kristopher Minners, 22. Both suspects are from the Philadelphia area, but were captured late Thursday morning at a home in Richmond without incident, according to Robert Clark, a supervisor with the U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force.

The teens will be extradited to face charges in Philadelphia in the coming weeks and will not be eligible for bail given the murder charges, Krasner and other officials said at press conferences held Thursday afternoon. Krasner expects to seek to try Whittington as an adult although he was a few days shy of 18 at the time. It was not immediately clear if they had lawyers representing them.

The gunfire began a block or two up ahead on South Street — a gathering spot for young crowds for a half century, packed with restaurants, bars and stores — when three men began fighting and two exchanged gunfire, firing 17 bullets in all.

Police believe Gary Jackson, 34, pulled out his weapon first, striking a man who fired back and killed him. That man remains hospitalized in critical condition. Krasner does not intend to charge him, deeming the fatal gunfire self-defense. Both Jackson and the hospitalized man were licensed to carry firearms, the prosecutor said.

However, his office did charge a fifth man whom they said fired an illegally made ghost gun into the crowd. They are not yet sure if that gunman struck any of the 11 wounded.

Surveillance video of the scene on Saturday showed scores of people milling about on the sidewalks and in the street, before fleeing when the gunfire erupted. Minners was a residential advisor at Girard College, a boarding school for disadvantaged youth which he had attended, while Quinn was a health aide.

“Guns appear to be falling out of the sky,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said on Tuesday, as she toured the area with Mayor Jim Kenney and spoke to concerned merchants, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.


AP staff writer Bruce Shipkowski contributed to this report from Trenton. Follow Maryclaire Dale on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Maryclairedale

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - This Sept. 2015, photo provided by NOAA Fisheries shows an aerial view of adult female South...
Associated Press

Researchers: Inbreeding a big problem for endangered orcas

People have taken many steps in recent decades to help the Pacific Northwest's endangered killer whales, which have long suffered from starvation, pollution and the legacy of having many of their number captured for display in marine parks.
16 hours ago
FILE - Hiring signs are displayed at a grocery store in Arlington Heights, Ill., Jan. 13, 2023. Emp...
Associated Press

Pay transparency is spreading. Here’s what you need to know

U.S. employers are increasingly posting salary ranges for job openings, even in states where it’s not required by law, according to analysts with several major job search websites.
16 hours ago
Meadowdale High School 9th grade students Juanangel Avila, right, and Legacy Marshall, left, work t...
David Klepper and Manuel Valdes, Associated Press

Seattle high school teacher advocates for better digital literacy in schools

Shawn Lee, a high school social studies teacher in Seattle, wants to see lessons on internet akin to a kind of 21st century driver's education, an essential for modern life.
16 hours ago
South Carolina Senators hear from the parents of people who died from fentanyl overdose on Jan. 19,...
Associated Press

With overdoses up, states look at harsher fentanyl penalties

State lawmakers nationwide are responding to the deadliest overdose crisis in U.S. history by pushing harsher penalties for possessing fentanyl and other powerful lab-made opioids that are connected to about 70,000 deaths a year.
16 hours ago
FILE - In this July 3, 2014, file photo, the Microsoft Corp. logo is displayed outside the Microsof...
Associated Press

Microsoft adds AI tools to Office apps like Outlook, Word

Microsoft is infusing artificial intelligence tools into its Office software, including Word, Excel and Outlook emails.
4 days ago
FILE - This photo provided by the Alaska Volcano Observatory/U.S. Geological Survey shows the Tanag...
Associated Press

Alaska volcanoes now pose lower threat, after quakes slow

Diminished earthquake activity led authorities Thursday to reduce the warning levels at two volcanoes on an uninhabited island in Alaska’s Aleutian chain because of the decreased potential for eruptions.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
DA: A fistfight devolves into gunfire, random shots in crowd