Delaware gang members indicted in wild summer shoot out in Wilmington park
In July a Wilmington park shooting became a symbol for Wilmington's ongoing crime issue weeks before the September democratic mayoral primary. Now police believe more members of a street gang known as the "Sure Shots" are responsible.
The wild shoot out took place in Eden Park while a soccer tournament was underway. 16-year old Alexander Kamara of Pike Creek and 47-year old community organizer, Herman Curry, were killed in the cross fire. A joint investigation between Wilmington Police and Delaware's Attorney General revealed a link between the suspects accused of the crime and the "Sure Shots."
On Tuesday, Attorney General Beau Biden, along with Wilmington Police Chief Michael Szczerba and Delaware Department of Justice released more details about the link between the shoot out the gang.
"Our thoughts remain with families of the victims," said Szczerba.
The two suspects 22-year old Jeffrey Phillips and 36-year old Otis Phillips, who are not related, were immediately taken into police custody and remain in jail.
In October Biden's office secured a 24-count indictment on Jeffrey and Otis Phillips, charging the two with first degree murder, firearm possession, and reckless endangerment.
Several other "Sure Shots" gang members; Kelmar Allen, Roland Phillips, and Seon Phillips now face charges for their involvement in the Eden Park shooting. Biden said the additional indictments come as a part of Delaware's Gang Participation law. It allows the introduction of past gang crimes to be introduced in court whenever new crimes can be shown to be part of a crime pattern by the suspects.
"We're leaving no stone unturned to identify and hold accountable all of the individuals who committed and contributed to this senseless and violent attack that claimed innocent lives and terrorized an entire community," said Attorney General Biden. "Thanks to the hard work of members of my staff and the Wilmington Police Department, we're an important step closer to taking down a dangerous gang and protecting our neighborhoods."
The "Sure Shots" gang is accused of crimes dating back to 2003 which involve drug-related crimes, firearm offenses as well as a connection to a 2008 homicide in Wilmington. The indictment also charges Otis Phillips with the January 27, 2008 shooting death of Christopher Palmer in Wilmington and May 5, 2007 shooting that occurred outside a club in Wilmington. The 2008 crime led to Phillips being a fugitive at the time of the Eden Park shooting.
Meanwhile, the October 22nd indictment charges a total of ten "Sure Shots" members.
"On behalf of the Wilmington Police Department, we will continue to work with the Attorney General's Office to represent the victims in this case in pursuing full justice in their memory," added Szczerba.
Curry was the organizer of that July soccer tournament. There has been speculation that he was the intended target of the shooting. The incident put a spot light on Wilmington's crime issues, which became a focal point in the election efforts of now Mayor-elect Dennis Williams. Williams has promised to name a new police chief from outside of the city police ranks sometime before he takes office in early January.