Posted on June 14, 2022

Mayor Jim Kenney and DA Larry Krasner Clash Over Charging Man in South Street Mass Shooting

Anthony Wood et al., Philadelphia Inquirer, June 8, 2022

Taking issue with a decision by District Attorney Larry Krasner, Mayor Jim Kenney said Wednesday that anyone who fired a weapon during Saturday night’s mass shooting on South Street deserved to be jailed — including the man prosecutors said had acted in self-defense.

Speaking at a virtual gun-violence briefing, Kenney said: “Anybody who fired a gun that day should be locked up.”

Krasner’s office took exception to the mayor’s comments. “He’s not a cop, he’s not an attorney,” said Jane Roh, Krasner’s spokesperson. {snip}


The Kenney-Krasner exchange came as investigators still were trying to sort out the details of how a perfect storm of chaos erupted on a splendid June evening in one of the region’s most popular gathering places.

Three were killed and 11 wounded in an incident that claimed more victims than any single episode of gun violence in Philadelphia in the last seven years. {snip}

As of Wednesday evening, two gunmen had been arrested and arraigned on charges related to the shooting, and police were searching for two other unnamed suspects whose photos they had released to the public.


On Wednesday morning, Quran Garner, 18, who police say had fired a ghost gun into a mass of people as the panic intensified, was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of assault of a law enforcement officer, firearms offenses, and related crimes, court records show. {snip}

He was ordered held for trial along with Rashaan Vereen, 34, who prosecutors say was involved in a brawl that ignited the melee. He was charged with attempted murder, conspiracy, and aggravated assault. {snip}

Rashaan Vereen and Quran Garner

Rashaan Vereen and Quran Garner

While not accused of firing a gun, prosecutors say, Vereen was involved in a melee that turned deadly when one of his friends, Gregory Jackson, pulled out a firearm and began shooting at a man Jackson and Vereen had been beating.

Jackson had obtained the gun permit despite being arrested for carrying an illegal weapon in 2020, according to court records. A clerical error at a district court in Delaware County delayed that case against Jackson for months, and he was able to apply for a concealed-carry permit, court officials said.

Prosecutors said that Jackson, 34, was shot and killed by Micah Towns, 23, who fired after Jackson had shot him. Micah remains hospitalized in critical condition.

“We looked at what happened to [Towns] and said, ‘That’s self-defense,’” Krasner said.

Kenney, however, said he believed that Towns should have walked away from the fight — and that in failing to do so he bore some responsibility for what followed along several blocks of South Street.

“There should be some price, some inconvenience, for that person who could have walked away, could have continued walking away, but came back and reignited the situation,” Kenney said.

While the precise sequence of the confrontation was unclear, police said it was Jackson who fired first during the brawl.