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July 05, 2023

Kingsessing shooting suspect charged with murder; shared 'alarming' posts on social media, authorities say

Kimbrady Carriker, 40, 'set out to kill strangers,' Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner says

Courts Shootings
Kingsessing shooting charges Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Kimbrady Carriker, who allegedly killed five people while firing gunshots in the Kingsessing section of Southwest Philadelphia on Monday night, was charged with murder on Wednesday.

The Philadelphia man suspected of randomly opening fire in Southwest Philadelphia, killing five people and injuring four others, was charged in court Wednesday morning.

Kimbrady Carriker, 40, is being held without bail and faces five counts of first-degree murder, five counts of attempted murder and other charges related to reckless endangerment and illegal gun possession.

"This office is 100% committed to the vigorous prosecution of this mass killing, and we will do justice in court," Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

On Monday night, Carriker allegedly opened fire on several blocks in Southwest Philadelphia near South 56th Street and Chester Avenue. 

The shooting, which police say was random, left one teenager and four men dead.

Dajuan Brown, 15, Lashyd Merrit, 20, Dymir Stanton, 29, and Ralph Moralis, 59, were all transported to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center after officers found them suffering from gunshot wounds. They all were pronounced dead shortly after.

The fifth fatality was Joseph Wamah Jr., a 31-year-old man who police believe was shot in his home. His father found him dead in his living room shortly after midnight Tuesday.

A 2-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy suffered gunshot wounds to the leg. They were also taken to Penn Presbyterian, where they were reported to be in stable condition. 

Two other victims, including Octavia Brown, the mother of the 2-year-old who was shot, were injured by glass. A bullet hit Brown's vehicle while she was driving and she suffered a severe injury to her eye, Assistant District Attorney Robert Wainwright said during Wednesday's briefing. Brown's other 2-year-old son also was injured by glass.

Carriker, who was reportedly wearing a ski mask and a bulletproof vest and had an AR-style rifle, handgun, multiple magazines and a police scanner, was chased by police before he was taken into custody on the 1600 block of South Frazier Street. 

Carriker was exhibiting alarming social media behavior before the shooting, including posting a video advertisement for a tactical weapons accessories company the morning of the shooting and previously posting multiple times about a perceived "loss of freedoms." In one post, he claimed community elders were "influencing the youth negatively. They are without a doubt promoting and participating in robbing, prostitution, scamming, and murder.” Carriker apparently told police the carried out the shooting "to clean up the neighborhood," CNN reported.

"We are even more concerned with disturbing messages found on the accused's social media page," Sheriff Rochelle Bilal told media members on Wednesday. 

"Let us use this opportunity to re-examine social media posts. If you see a post that raises a red flag, you must speak up and call the authorities immediately. This is our business, and we can't afford to stay silent. They are letting people know what they are about to do, and it is on all of us not to sit sound when we see these types of posts threatening to harm us, harm our communities, and harm our children. As the investigation continues, we ask the community's assistance to call and report suspicious activity, unlawful gun approaches, and anything threatening you and your family."

Sen. Sharif Street used Monday's shooting to campaign for Pennsylvania to enact safer gun laws that ban the purchase of AR-15s, enact stricter background checks and institute red flag laws. 

"This was someone who set out to kill strangers, which of course, has become way too common in the United States," Krasner said. 

Carriker is scheduled to appear in court on July 24.