Suspect Held Without Bail in FDR Park Slaying of Philly Police Official's Son

Tyquan Atkinson, 19, was arrested Wednesday in connection to the shooting death of Nicholas Flacco at FDR Park after a Phillies game.

What to Know

  • Nicholas Flacco, 20, died after being shot in the chest inside FDR Park on Saturday. Police said his friends dared the gunman to shoot.
  • Tyquan Atkinson, a.k.a. "Fats," was arrested Wednesday in connection to the shooting. He faces murder charges.
  • Police say the gunman may have been summoned to the park by a woman who got into a fight with another group of girls.

The suspect in the killing of a Philadelphia Police Department chief inspector's son remains jailed facing murder charges.

Tyquan Atkinson, 19, was arrested around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday after trying to flee U.S. Marshals by going onto the roof of a fireworks store on the 800 block of Upland Avenue in Chester, Pennsylvania. 

Early Thursday, a Philadelphia judge arraigned Atkinson on murder, criminal conspiracy and weapons charges in connection to the shooting death of Nicholas Flacco at FDR Park after a Phillies game.

FDR Park Suspect on Background Tyquan Atkinson
Philadelphia Police Department / NBC10

Atkinson was held without bail.

Police identified Atkinson as the suspect Wednesday afternoon and urged the teen to seek legal counsel and turn himself in.

Flacco, a student at Penn State's main campus in State College, was visiting home Saturday to celebrate his 20th birthday. He is set to be laid to rest Thursday after a funeral Mass in Huntingdon Valley.

Flacco was with a group of people who had tailgated during Saturday's Phillies-Braves game. They started in the Jetro parking lot before moving across Broad Street to FDR Park.

While they were there, two groups of girls got into a fight inside the park. Philadelphia Police Homicide Capt. Jason Smith described the encounter as "random" and said it ended with one woman threatening "to call her man" before adding that "they should be afraid."

A gunman, who police identified as Atkinson, arrived in a car a short-time later, had a verbal exchange with Flacco's friends, and fired a shot into the air, investigators said.

Two of the friends confronted Atkinson and dared him to shoot them, according to police.

Atkinson allegedly fired another round from his revolver into the ground. But the group still wasn't fazed as he stormed off inside the South Philadelphia park, police said.

Ten minutes later, however, Atkinson allegedly walked back to the group, pointed at Flacco's chest and opened fire.

Flacco, the son of Chief Inspector Christopher Flacco, the head of the Philadelphia Police Internal Affairs Division, was dead by the time he reached Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in a police car.

Police said they are bewildered by the dare and why the group chose to stay in the park after two shots were fired.

"I think this is a matter of intoxication by alcohol, because who in their right mind would dare someone to shoot them," Capt. Smith said at a news briefing on Monday.

Police don't believe Flacco was involved in the argument or any altercation prior to the shooting.

Detectives have interviewed some of Flacco's friends, but are still searching for the woman who made the threat. Smith asked that she come in to be interviewed. She could face charges, he added. Police have not yet confirmed whether or not the girl and Atkinson know each other.

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