DA announces charges for 4 men connected with a half-dozen Strawberry Mansion shootings

From left: Dontae Sutton, 19; Jamir Brunson-Gans, 20; Elijah Soto, 19; Khalil Henry, 19
From left: Dontae Sutton, 19; Jamir Brunson-Gans, 20; Elijah Soto, 19; Khalil Henry, 19 Photo credit Philadelphia Police Department

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Four men have been arrested in connection with about a half-dozen 2021 shootings — including two homicides — in the city’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. The district attorney announced charges on Tuesday, following recommendations from an investigating grand jury — and more arrests could come.

Elijah Soto, 18, and Jamir Brunson-Gans, 20, are accused of killing 19-year-old Jordan Murray on Sept. 6, 2021, by shooting him several times at 22nd Street and West Huntington Avenue.

Soto, Dontae Sutton, 19, and Khalil Henry, 19, are accused of gunning down 33-year-old Jerrick Jenkins, just two weeks later, on Sept. 18, at 2900 West York Street. Jenkins died from those injuries more than a week later.

Prosecutors say the group calls themselves Big Naddy Gang, or BNG — after 15-year-old Namir Johnson, also known as “Naddy,” who was shot to death in April of 2021.

Assistant District Attorney Joe Lanuti said victims were targeted, but they were not part of a rival group. He said BNG had some kind of dispute with their victims, but he wouldn’t get into the exact motivation. “This group sought notoriety, they sought infamy, they sought attention and that was part of the motivation for each and every one of these shooting incidents,” Lanuti said.

Prosecutors say they linked the four to the shootings through text messages and shell casings — but they would not go into detail about other evidence they have.

Sutton is already charged with several counts of robbery, assault and gun offenses, and Henry is already charged with attempted murder, assault, and gun and carjacking-related offenses.

“Jamir Brunson-Gans … was previously arrested for violations under the Uniform Firearms Act — both for possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and possessing a firearm without a license. And he is awaiting trial for that case,” Lanuti said.

“Elijah Soto was also arrested for violation under the Uniform Firearms Act and possession with intent to distribute narcotics, specifically cocaine.”

Prosecutors say the grand jury has identified other members of the group, but they did not disclose their identities as the investigation continues.

“I think this is a time where they should realize where they are under investigation, and if they are in any criminal activity, or involved with any criminal associates, to stop now, because things are only going to get worse,” Lanuti said.

The four defendants remain behind bars, and have a hearing set for next month.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images