Suspect Charged in 2-Year-Old Girl's Murder in Her Home - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Suspect Charged in 2-Year-Old Girl's Murder in Her Home

Police have made an arrest in the shooting death of Nikolette Rivera as they continue to search for a 2nd suspect

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Arrest Made in Toddler's Shooting Death

    A man was arrested in connection to the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl, police confirmed Tuesday.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019)

    What to Know

    • Police have made an arrest in the shooting death of 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera as they continue to search for a second suspect

    • The shooting appeared to be targeted though the intended target wasn't home, police said.

    • Rivera died from bullets fired into her home on North Water Street in Kensington on Sunday afternoon.

    Update: A second man is now in custody in connection to the girl's death. New details here.

    A Delaware County man has been charged in the deadly shooting of a 2-year-old girl in her Philadelphia home.

    Police announced Tuesday night that a man was taken into custody in Chester, Pennsylvania. On Wednesday morning, acting Philadelphia Police Commissioner Christine Coulter identified the man as Freddie Perez, though she was unsure of the spelling of his first name.

    Police charged Perez with Nikolette Rivera's murder and multiple counts of attempted murder, Coulter said. He is expected to be arraigned later Wednesday.

    Surveillance video with the help of tips led investigators to a vehicle that proved critical to catching Perez, Coulter said. Perez was arrested at his Chester home that he shares with family members, including children, Coulter said.

    It wasn't clear if Perez or another man, who police continued to search for and have yet to identify, was the actual shooter or otherwise involved in the shooting.

    Rivera died from bullets fired into her home on North Water Street in Kensington on Sunday afternoon.

    The girl was shot once in the back of the head while her mother was shot once in the right side of the head and once in the back. A contractor, who was doing work inside the home at the time, was also shot once in the stomach.

    The girl was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 4 p.m. The child's mother and the man were both taken to Temple University Hospital. The man is in critical condition while the woman was listed in stable condition.

    The shooting was likely drug-related and the intended target, the girl's father, was not home at the time, Coulter said Wednesday.

    Another shooting occurred just minutes earlier on the 400 block of East Clearfield Street, which is about a half a mile away. No one was hurt during that shooting. Coulter said they found evidence that a rifle was used in the Water Street shooting while both a rifle and a handgun may have been used in the Clearfield Street shooting.

    Police have not recovered a rifle and they continue to search for the second suspect, Coulter said.

    "We still need tips, there is still somebody else out there related to this," Coulter said.

    "We won’t rest until everybody who’s responsible for the little girl’s death and that incident are in custody," Coulter added.

    Rivera was one of two young victims of gun violence over the weekend.

    On Saturday, 11-month-old Yazeem Jenkins was shot while in the back seat of a car driving on North Seventh Street, police said.

    Jenkins was struck four times by bullets: once in the head, once in the neck and twice in the buttocks, police said. He remains in critical condition and is not expected to fully recover from his wounds, investigators said.

    The city offered $30,000 rewards in both cases.