Police: Fire breaks out at home of teen arrested for New Year’s slaying (UPDATED)
As officials prepare to push their crime-fighting efforts into full gear for 2013, an 18-year-old has been charged with allegedly shooting this year’s first homicide victim, according to police.
Kamonne Jordan, 18, lived on the 5600 block of Carpenter Street where 16-year-old Jaymire Rustin was killed in the early hours of Jan. 1. Jordan was arrested yesterday and charged today in connection with Rustin’s death. Authorities said the violence was sparked by an argument.
In a strange twist, Jordan’s house caught fire around 1:30 a.m. this morning. One elderly woman was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, according to fire officials. Police said no other injuries were reported.
Jordan is charged with murder, reckless endangerment and firearms offenses, according to court documents. His preliminary hearing has been set for Jan. 16.
Investigators said they do not yet know whether the fire was related to Rustin’s homicide or Jordan’s arrest. ”The Fire Marshal will take a look and they’ll naturally be cautious about anything that has to do with any type of arrest or anything like that,” Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said. “That drives our antenna up even more.”
Residents on the block yesterday expressed fears of retaliatory violence following the crime and begged for officials to address the availability of firearms on the streets.
“The most serious problem facing the city of Philadelphia is the proliferation and availability of these illegal weapons,” Mayor Michael Nutter said in statement. “We need additional flexibility to target and remove them from our streets. I intend to step-up our efforts locally and you will hear from us about additional proposed efforts to address this issue at the city, the state, and the federal level.”
He said new measures will be announced soon in addition to a twelve-point crime-fighting plan the city unveiled a year ago that included cash incentives for public cooperation, a text hotline for tips, additional police classes, more funding for victim and witness assistance programs and a video surveillance partnership with local businesses.
Postmortem: 2012 homicide rate in review
Officials on Thursday spoke out about 2012′s homicide rate, which was the highest since Mayor Michael Nutter took office in 2008.
Crime overall actually dropped, including shootings, but more of those shootings were fatal. The statistic has been attributed to the proliferation of firearms, especially high-powered assault rifles and those with high capacity magazine.
“2012 recorded the lowest number of shooting victims in more than a decade and we saw a drop of four percent in [violent and property] crime,” Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in a statement. “Murder however continues to be a problem with seven more homicides recorded over last year. One murder is one too many.”