One of the five people named as fatalities in the mass shooting in Philadelphia on the night of July 3 was killed 44 hours beforehand, the city’s police department said on Sunday.
Joseph Wamah Jr., 31, who was found dead in his home several hours after the mass shooting, is still believed to have been killed by Kimbrady Carriker, the 40-year-old man charged with 10 counts of murder and attempted murder in that shooting. But the timing of Mr. Wamah’s death raises new questions about a rampage that until now seemed to have been carried out at random and in a short time frame.
In a news release on Sunday evening, the Philadelphia Police Department said that Mr. Wamah had been killed early Sunday, the day before the mass shooting on Monday night, adding that the determination was based on “information received through a source and corroborated by the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office and additional evidence.”
The police said they had received a 911 call reporting gunshots in the vicinity of Mr. Wamah’s house at approximately 2 a.m. on Sunday, “approximately 90 minutes after it is believed that Mr. Wamah was murdered.” But the call was dispatched to the wrong address — North 56th Street instead of South 56th Street. The officers who responded surveyed the area, speaking with neighbors, but found no one who had heard gunshots.
The police did not say in the release if the dispatcher had followed up with the initial caller, and they declined to answer additional questions.
In a separate statement released shortly after the police’s, the Philadelphia district attorney, Larry Krasner, said the new information did not change the charges his office was bringing against Mr. Carriker. He added that it was normal for new information to arise in the course of an investigation, and that this one in particular was “highly complex.”
“The grieving family of the deceased has been briefed on this new information,” Mr. Krasner said. “And I cannot express enough the sorrow I feel — and that surely all the officers and detectives working on this investigation must feel — that these developments may be confusing and retraumatizing for Mr. Wamah’s loved ones.”
Police said that on Monday night Mr. Carriker, who was wearing a ski mask and body armor, opened fire with an assault-style rifle, shooting erratically into a crowded street in southwest Philadelphia. He killed four people — Lashyd Merritt, 20; Dymir Stanton, 29; Ralph Moralis, 59; and Dajuan Brown, 15 — and injured two others, including a 2-year-old boy. After the police chased Mr. Carriker into an alley, he was arrested. He is currently being held without bond.
Police officers who responded to the shooting found the six who had been shot that night, some in a car and others on the street or sidewalk. Nearly three hours later, a news release from the police said, “officers were directed” to a nearby house, where they found Mr. Wamah, whom they described as “unresponsive” and “suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.” He was pronounced dead at 12:34 a.m. on Tuesday.