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Chester fugitives arrested, charged with first degree murder in July 2017 shooting death

  Media, Pa -- Today Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland and Commissioner Otis Blair of the Chester Police Department announced the arrest of Vernon Jones, 19, and Leroy Spence, Jr., 20, both of Chester, who were fugitives arrested in Baltimore, Maryland and charged in the shooting death of 28-year-old Shaquan Cruz-Chappell on July 21, 2017, in the area of West Seventh Street and Highland Avenue.

Vernon Jones, of the 2800 block of W. 6th Street and Leroy Spence, Jr., of the 1300 block of Tilghman Street in Chester, are charged with first and third-degree murder, criminal homicide, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of instruments of crime, and criminal conspiracy. The investigation was conducted by Detective Rhaheem Blanden of the Chester Police Department and Detective Vincent Ficchi of the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Homicide Unit, with assistance from the United States Marshals who arrested the fugitives in Baltimore.  

On Friday, July 21, 2017, at 7:07 p.m., Chester Police were dispatched to W. 9th Street and Highland Avenue in Chester, for a report of a shooting. Upon their arrival, officers found Shaquan Cruz-Chappell laying in the street, having sustained several gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives obtained video surveillance footage which showed a light blue Buick had stopped at the corner of 7th Street and Highland Avenue, and three male passengers exited the vehicle. The victim, Shaquan Cruz-Chappell, was on his bicycle, traveling south on Grace Street onto 7th Street, when these three males began firing their weapons at him.

Following the shooting, the three males fled on foot and headed towards the 3000 block of W. 6th Street. The same light blue Buick was seen traveling west on West 6th Street, and appeared to be looking for the three males. Another video surveillance system captured the same black males subsequently entering a residence on West 6th Street, while the light blue Buick parked just east of the same residence.

“The defendants in this case ruthlessly murdered the victim, Shaquan Cruz-Chappell, in broad daylight on summer evening,” said District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland. “As the result of surveillance video and assistance from the community, we were able to make apprehend those responsible for this senseless murder. I would like to commend the investigative work of Detective Rhaheem Blanden of the Chester Police Department and CID Detective Vincent Ficchi along with the United States Marshals who ensured these fugitives were captured and brought to justice to answer for their crimes.”

CRIMINAL CHARGES, AND ANY DISCUSSION THEREOF, ARE MERELY ALLEGATIONS AND ALL DEFENDANTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL AND UNLESS PROVEN GUILTY.

 

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OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
DELAWARE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
MEDIA, PENNSYLVANIA 19063
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610-891-4161

KATAYOUN M. COPELAND, DISTRICT ATTORNEY
JOSEPH A. RYAN, CHIEF OF DETECTIVES 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: August 16, 2018 
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris, 610.891.4252