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Chester man charged with murder after repeatedly running over woman with pickup truck

Media, PA -- Today District Attorney Kat Copeland and Chief Stephen Edmiston of the Tinicum Township Police Department announced the arrests of Daniel Williams, 36, of Chester, who is charged with murdering Shantel Harmon, 26, by striking her with his pickup truck and then again running her over, on August 22, 2019, in the area of the Sunoco Service Station located at 15 Industrial Highway in Tinicum Township.

Daniel Williams, 36, of the 900 block of Terrill Street in Chester, is charged with criminal homicide, murder in the first and third degree, and two counts of aggravated assault, all felonies of the first degree, accidents involving death or personal injury, a felony of the third degree, possession of an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person, both misdemeanors of the first degree, and related offenses. The investigation was conducted by Sergeant James Y. Simpkins of the Tinicum Township Police Department and Detective Michael Jay of the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Homicide Unit, along with numerous other assisting police departments.

On August 22, 2019, at approximately 8:54 p.m., the Tinicum Township Police were dispatched to the Sunoco Service Station at 15 Industrial Highway, in Tinicum Township, for a report of a motor vehicle crash and possible hit and run. At the scene, patrol units observed the entire front of the Sunoco Service Station store had been destroyed. Two female victims, one of whom was later identified as Shantel Harmon, were observed on ground in the front of the store, suffering from significant injuries. Both victims were transported to Penn Presbyterian Hospital Trauma Unit, where Shantel Harmon was pronounced deceased, and the second female victim, was treated for her injuries.

Police investigation, supported by surveillance cameras and witness interviews, revealed that on August 22, 2019, witnesses were at the Sunoco Service Station at 15 Industrial Highway, when decedent Shantel Harmon was observed running through the parking lot towards the front of the store while screaming. Harmon was then violently struck by a Nissan pickup truck being driven by Daniel Williams. Williams then backed the truck up, and then proceeded forward, crashing through the front of the store, and again running over Shantel Harmon while also striking the second female victim. Williams then again placed his pickup truck in reverse and fled the scene. A witness observed Williams’ pickup truck flee the scene, and followed it to the City of Chester, while calling 911 and providing a description and tag number of the truck. Numerous officers from neighboring police departments arrived in the area and observed the pickup truck parked in an alley on the 500 block of East 8th Street in Chester. The pickup truck had heavy front-end damage with blood on the passenger side of the car. With the help of the Ridley Township Police Department K-9 Unit, Williams was located in the area hiding under a vehicle and was taken into custody. He was transported to the Chester Crozer Medical Center for evaluation and while being treated, a Visa card in the name of Shantel Harmon was located inside Williams’ wallet.

“In this case, the victim, Shantel Harmon, was ruthlessly run down while fleeing for her life. As the result of surveillance video and assistance from the community, law enforcement was able to quickly identify and apprehend Daniel Williams for this senseless and cold-blooded murder. I would like to commend the investigative work of Tinicum Township Police Sergeant Simpkins and CID Detective Jay, along with the many officers who assisted in the apprehending this dangerous individual,” said District Attorney Kat Copeland.

Daniel Williams was arraigned today before Magisterial District Judge Michael A. Burns and his preliminary hearing is scheduled before Magisterial District Judge Jack D. Lippart on September 9, 2019.