Jonathan Rosa, Cornelius Crawford charged in carjacking that killed three kids

Jonathan Rosa, 19, left, and Cornelius Crawford, 22, face three murder charges in the deaths of three children they struck with a car they stole on Friday morning. Credit: PPD
Jonathan Rosa, 19, left, and Cornelius Crawford, 22, face three murder charges in the deaths of three children they struck with a car they stole on Friday morning. Credit: PPD

Police say Jonathan Rosa, 19, and Cornelius Crawford, 22, are the two men who stole a real estate agent’s car before crashing into a sidewalk fruit stand and murdering three children on Friday morning.

“I want to personally thank Commissioner [Charles] Ramsey, Captain [James] Clark, and all the men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department for their exceptional work in bringing these two bastards to justice,” said D.A. Seth Williams at a press conference Monday. “All Philadelphians were moved to tears by this crime.”

The duo will face three murder charges each, along with charges for robbery, kidnapping and sexual assault charges, police said.

Siblings Keiearra Williams, 15, Thomas Reed, 10, and Terrence Moore, 7, were selling fruits and vegetables to raise funds for their church around 11:30 a.m. Friday when they were killed. Their mother Keisha Williams, 34, was also injured in the crash and is still in critical condition.

According to Homicide Unit Capt. James Clark, at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, Rosa and Crawford attacked a female realtor near 6th and Cumberland streets who had been showing a property in the area, forced her into her Toyota 4Runner and sexually assaulted her, then drove off in the vehicle with the woman in the backseat.

No further details were available about the nature of the sexual assault that occurred.

While making the sharp turn from Allegheny Avenue onto Germantown Avenue with a blown tire, Crawford, the driver, lost control of the vehicle, Clark said.

Rosa turned himself into police on Sunday afternoon. He provided information that led police to Crawford that evening, who lived near 6th and Cambria streets.

“What they did was indefensible and most unforgivable. So whatever remorse they may or may not have does not bring back the three little children,” said Capt. Clark, when asked whether the suspects had shown remorse what they did.

The two men knew each other for a week, Clark said. Crawford was recently released from prison after being sentenced in 2007 for robbery.

Former 76ers player Charles Barkley has contacted authorities to volunteer to pay for the children’s funerals.


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