Bail Revoked for Francisco Ortiz, Man Accused of Shooting 11-Month-Old and Providing Gun Used to Kill 2-Year-Old - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Bail Revoked for Francisco Ortiz, Man Accused of Shooting 11-Month-Old and Providing Gun Used to Kill 2-Year-Old

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Shootings of Toddler and Baby Connected, Philly Police Say

    Investigators believe the suspected gunman who shot an 11-month-old provided the weapon to the suspect who shot and killed a two-year-old. NBC10’s Rosemary Connors has the latest information from the district attorney’s office and an outraged community.

    (Published Friday, Oct. 25, 2019)

    What to Know

    • Two men are suspected in the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl inside her Kensington neighborhood home.

    • Freddie Perez, 30, of Chester, Pennsylvania, is charged with murder and attempted murder in connection to the death of Nikolette Rivera.

    • Tavon Thomas is the suspected of pulling the trigger and is expected to be formally charged.

    A Philadelphia judge revoked bail on Friday for Francisco Ortiz, the 29-year-old man accused of shooting 11-month-old Yazeem Jenkins in North Philadelphia last month.

    Friday's decision by Common Pleas Judge Zachary C. Shaffer stemmed from a motion filed by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office on a July 13 gun charge that is not related to Jenkins' shooting.

    Bail on the gun case had been reduced from $100,000 to $50,000 on July 30, according to court records. Ortiz was able to post bail that same day, Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Jeff Hojnowski said.

    Less than three months later on Oct. 19, he allegedly shot Jenkins, who was riding in a car with his dad, according to police. Investigators believe Jenkins' father was the intended target.

    Officials also believe Ortiz may have supplied the AK-47 used to kill 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera in a separate incident the next day. Both of the shootings appear to be drug-related, according to investigators.

    On Friday, Judge Shaffer questioned why Ortiz's bail was ever lowered given his violent criminal history. Ortiz was released earlier this year after serving 10 years in prison. Within months, he was arrested again on gun charges.

    "I can't speak to what they've done," Hojnowski said, adding that a different prosecutor handled Ortiz's prior cases. 

    The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has not returned a request for comment on whether the commonwealth agreed to reduce bail in July and why.

    Ortiz's lawyer, Timothy Tarpey, said revoking bail was "completely unnecessary" because his client is already being held on attempted murder charges for Jenkins' shooting. 

    But Hojnowski argued that Ortiz poses a serious threat to the public. 

    "There are no conditions that could ensure community safety from Ortiz," he said.

    On Oct. 19, Ortiz allegedly shot into a car carrying Jenkins, his father and other passengers. 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, according to Hojnowski.

    The next day, Rivera was shot once in the head while sleeping her mother's arms. Her mother and a contractor working inside the home were also hit by gunfire. Neither were killed.

    Ortiz allegedly supplied the gun used by Freddie Perez and Tavon Thomas to kill Rivera, according to investigators. They are charged with murder, attempted murder and related offenses.

    Five minutes before Rivera was shot, there was another shooting about half a mile away. No one was killed, but police found evidence that both a handgun and an AK-47 were used, according to Acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter.