NBC10 - Na'eem Douglas
A manhunt ended over the weekend as a man and a woman were arrested for killing Jason McClay. NBC10's Na'eem Douglas reports.
Over the weekend, police arrested and charged a man and a woman for the deadly shooting of a store manager during an attempted robbery at a Chester, Delaware County, Pa. pharmacy.
The first, suspect, 24-year-old David Wiggins, was taken into police custody Saturday. He was charged with first-degree Murder, second-degree murder, reckless endangerment, conspiracy and several weapons charges.
On Sunday, police -- with the help of US Marshals -- arrested the second suspect, identified as 23-year-old Rita Pultro. Police say Pultro was arrested around 12:25 p.m. at a home located at 1300 Harrison Street in Philadelphia and tried to run when police arrived. Investigators initially went to her home in Kensington but say she no longer lived there.
Pultro was charged with first-, second- and third-degree murder, attempted robbery, reckless endangerment and weapon offenses. Pultro was the co-conspirator in the robbery and murder, according to investigators.
Investigators didn't say who they believe pulled the trigger.
Chester Mayor John Linder told NBC10.com that he informed the victim's family about Pultro's arrest Sunday.
"We're happy we got these people. It doesn't take away from their sorrow, we are with them," said Linder.
Officials also say Pultro has a lengthy rap sheet. She was most recently arrested back on June 10, 2012 and charged with aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime, terroristic threats, simple assault and reckless endangerment. She was scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 16 for those charges.
Chester Police Commissioner Joseph Bail said Wiggins and Pultro entered the Rite Aid store along the 2700 block of W 9th Street just before 10 p.m. Thursday and "engaged the manager (in) an apparent scuffle."
When officers arrived they found 40-year-old Jason McClay, shot in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
"For myself today...I am in a fog," said McClay's mother Margie Riley shortly after Wiggins' arrest.
A police source tells NBC10's Na'eem Douglas that this is not the first time Wiggins has been in trouble with the law. He was arrested 18 times for various crimes including burglary.
The Delaware County District Attorney office says the death penalty will be reviewed because of Wiggins' criminal history.
Bruce McClay, who claims to be Jason McClay's father, told NBC10 on the scene that his son was a graduate of Haverford High School who went on the serve in the Navy. He said his son lived in Broomall and was only working so late Thursday night because he was helping out a co-worker.
McClay's younger sister, Jessica McClay-Frank, said her brother was the eldest of five siblings and served in the Navy for seven years. He was living with McClay-Frank to help around the house after her husband died last year.
When NBC10 asked her if she thought the company did enough to protect its workers, she replied, "Absolutely not. There should have been an armed guard there regularly," said McClay-Frank. "There were two attempted robberies in the last month."
Bruce McClay said his son only started working at the store about a year ago and expressed concerns about security at the store.
"He said it was dangerous all the time," said the elder McClay outside the store. "He knew the risks but the risks don't change the fact that they should have somebody here to walk these people out."
Witnesses inside the store said they heard a loud bang inside the store before rushing out and calling police.
Rite Aid released a statement Friday addressing security concerns.
"Safety and security is a top priority for Rite Aid and we work diligently to prevent and investigate robberies. We work with all levels of law enforcement, our retail competitors and industry groups to share information and tactics in an effort to deter and prevent robberies, and we are committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure we are providing a safe environment for our associates and customers."
"Our hearts and prayers go out to Jason’s family, friends and co-workers. We are extremely saddened by the tragic loss of our team member. We met with his family this morning to offer our deepest sympathies and we will continue to be available to them during this difficult time," a spokesperson for Rite Aid said in a statement.
On Saturday, four armed guards were inside the store from open to close. A Rite Aid representative said security will be in place for the foreseeable future.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for David Wiggins on Sept. 25.
Pultro's preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 2.