A teenager accused of shooting and killing a 21-year-old Temple University student over the weekend turned himself in on Wednesday to face murder and robbery charges.
Latif Williams, 17, is charged in the slaying of Samuel Sean Collington. Williams surrendered to police on Wednesday. Kristen Johanson, a reporter with NBC10 partner KYW News Radio, first made the report.
"Latif was fully cooperative with police upon learning of his arrest warrant, and he turned himself in voluntarily this evening," Williams' attorneys Patrick Link and Marni Jo Snyder wrote in a joint statement. "We are in the process of investigating the facts of this case and we expect his presumption of innocence to be maintained throughout the judicial proceedings.”
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Collington, a Delaware County native who was back in Philadelphia after his Thanksgiving break, was shot in the chest Sunday afternoon outside his college apartment on the 2200 block of North Park Avenue.
His mother, Molly Collington, said her son had just returned to North Philadelphia from his Delaware County home with clean laundry following the long holiday weekend.
She called her son's murder a "horrible injustice" and a "travesty like you have no idea" during an interview with NBC10. She also said she'll do anything to bring the person responsible to justice.
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"This senseless act crushes us," Molly Collington said Monday.
Police did not give a motive for the shooting, but the DA's office said Monday during a weekly update on gun violence that video evidence showed Collington was shot in what appeared to be a carjacking or robbery.
Collington appeared to fight back, the DA's office said, but that was after he was already shot. More video evidence is still being examined, officials said.
NBC10 learned Williams was previously charged with carjacking a victim at gunpoint back in August though the victim was not harmed. A spokesperson for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office told NBC10 they were forced to withdraw charges against Williams because a key witness never showed up to court.
Collington was a senior political science student at Temple, the university said. He was set to graduate in the spring from the College of Liberal Arts.
“We are encouraged by an arrest of a suspect in the death of Sam Collington," Temple said in a statement. "It is our hope that this is the start of healing for his family and the Temple community. Gun violence is an epidemic; it’s a complex, national issue plaguing both the country and Philadelphia. We must stay vigilant in working with our community partners on identifying solutions to this crisis."
Collington was also a fellow in the office of the City Commissioner.
“Samuel was an incredibly talented and engaged young man,” City Commissioner Omar Sabir wrote. “During his brief time with our office, Samuel exemplified an incredible passion for engaging voters and was an indispensable member of our team. Sam’s death is a tremendous loss for the City Commissioners and all who knew him.”
There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.