Four reputed gang members who face murder, attempted murder and gun charges in five shootings that killed two and wounded five others over a two-month period in Philadelphia bragged about their crimes on YouTube and other social media channels to gain infamy, prosecutors said.
The four men, ages 18 to 20, were a part of the so-called “Big Naddy Gang” (BNG), named after a 15-year-old boy killed in April 2021 and whose members sought retaliation and notoriety on social media and texts, authorities said.
“Sadly, after Big Naddy was murdered, people who knew him, people who liked him, decided the best thing to do was more murders,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in a news conference. “There is a phrase that came up in this investigation — it was a text from one of these participants to another, and the text was that they had put the ‘h’ in homicide.
“Well, today we are going to put the ‘j’ in jail,” Krasner said. “We’ve had enough killings, shootings, blood, juveniles on both sides of the gun.”
A grand jury investigation into a series of shootings and homicides in a historic section of North Philadelphia called Strawberry Mansion led to the arrests, said Assistant District Attorney Joseph Lanuti.
Officials said the grand jury heard several hours of testimony spanning several days. They identified the following alleged members of BNG as suspects: Dontae Sutton, 19, Jamir Brunson-Gans, 20, Elijah Soto, 18, and Khalil Henry, 19.
Sutton faces charges of the attempted murder of two victims on July 14, 2021. Brunson-Gans faces the attempted murder of a victim shot multiple times on Sept. 5, 2021. Brunson-Gans and Soto face charges for the homicide of Jordan Murray on Sept. 6, 2021. Sutton, Soto and Henry face charges for the homicide of Jerrick Jenkins on Sept. 18, 2021, officials said.
Earlier this year, Henry and Sutton were arrested for a double shooting on Oct. 4, 2021, and had been in custody when the latest charges were announced, authorities said.
Brunson-Gans was previously arrested for violations of the uniform firearm act for possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number and possessing a firearm without a license. He’s awaiting trial in that case.
Soto was also arrested for violations of the uniform firearms act and possession with intent to distribute narcotics — cocaine.
The motives for the shootings varied, and many details are under seal, authorities said. But BNG committed a spree of gun violence led largely by its desire to seek notoriety and infamy, Lanuti said.
He said local authorities partnered with federal law enforcement agents including the ATF to combat gun violence in Philadelphia.
He said the suspects that authorities arrested were “drivers of crime” in south and southwest Philadelphia and had expanded to North Philadelphia and other parts of the city.
“If you are a gang that is committing gun violence in Philadelphia, don’t be surprised if you’re next,” he said.
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