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Suspect charged with killing 5 in Philadelphia shooting held without bail

Police gathered Monday night at a shooting scene in southwestern Philadelphia. (Photo by KYW via CNN)

(CNN) — The suspect accused of killing five people – including a 15-year-old boy – in a shooting in Philadelphia on Monday night was held without bail Wednesday after a preliminary arraignment on various charges, including murder.

Kimbrady Carriker, 40, is also charged with attempted murder and carrying a firearm without a license. He was not required to enter a plea.

“Public safety is clearly an issue here,” and there is “no set of conditions” under which Carriker wouldn’t be a flight risk,” Magistrate Naomi Williams said at the arraignment in a Philadelphia courtroom.

The suspect appeared to fire randomly along several blocks of southwest Philadelphia’s Kingsessing neighborhood Monday night before officers arrested Carriker during a chase on foot, authorities said. The suspect had an AR-style rifle, a 9 mm handgun and a scanner that tracks emergency response radio traffic, and was wearing a bulletproof vest and a ski mask, authorities said.

Carriker had a previous gun conviction and was carrying a “ghost gun” the night of the shooting, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner told CNN on Wednesday. Ghost guns are untraceable, self-assembled firearms, often put together with parts sold online.

The shooting was a “random, premeditated deliberate killing carried out with an assault rifle,” Krasner told CNN on Wednesday.

“This was someone who set out to kill strangers which of course has become way too common in the United States,” Krasner said. The suspect “appeared to have no connection to any of the victims,” he said, and the victims did not appear to have connections with each other.

There is a good reason to believe the AR-15 and the ghost gun “may have been obtained illegally,” Krasner said. The investigation into the legality of the gun will take time, he said, “partly … because the NRA has done a hell of a job trying to make it difficult for people to investigate the source of a weapon.”

“He had a gun conviction back in 2003, and yet here we are looking at, you know, five people dead as a result of a mass shooting rampage, where he was well-armed and had another firearm back at his residence,” Krasner added.

The district attorney’s office initially referred to the suspect using they/them pronouns, based off information it had at the time, it said. The DA’s office is now referring to the suspect as a male.

Killed in the shooting were Daujan Brown, 15; Lashyd Merritt, 20; Dymir Stanton, 29; Ralph Moralis, 59; and Joseph Wamah Jr., 31, police said. Wamah’s body was found in a home early Tuesday, while the others were found Monday night, authorities said.

Two boys, ages 2 and 13, were shot in the legs and were in stable condition, police said. A 33-year-old woman and another 2-year-old boy were injured by glass, authorities said.

The two 2-year-old children are twins who were in a car with their mom when shots were fired at them, authorities indicated at a news conference Tuesday.

“On what was supposed to be a beautiful summer evening, this armed and armored individual wreaked havoc, firing with a rifle at their victims seemingly at random,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Carriker is facing five counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder, 10 counts of assault, 10 counts of recklessly endangering another person and four counts of weapons charges, according to the DA’s office. His next court appearance is set for July 24.

Krasner is expected to provide an update on his office’s response to the shooting at a news conference Wednesday.

The shooting is one of at least 350 mass shootings in the US so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. CNN and the archive define a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are shot, not including the shooter.

Monday’s shooting in Philadelphia came during a holiday period marked by deadly gun violence. At least three people died and eight were wounded in a shooting Monday night in Fort Worth, Texas. The day before, two people were killed and 28 were injured in a shooting in Baltimore.

Tuesday marked one year since a shooting at a July Fourth parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park killed seven people and wounded others.

‘You took my son’
As the investigation into the shooting continues, grief has overwhelmed Marie Merritt, whose youngest of five children – Lashyd Merritt – was killed Monday.

Her son was heading to a store to buy a snack when he was shot, Marie Merritt told CNN affiliate WPVI.

“You took my son. You took my baby,” Marie Merritt told the outlet. “He was my prize. He was my No. 1 prize, and he knows that. … I miss him so much.”

Investigators believe Wamah, the victim who was found dead inside a home in Kingsessing, was the first person killed in the shooting Monday night, authorities said Tuesday.

Wamah’s father found his body in a living room around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, city police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Wamah had been shot several times, and responding medics declared him dead shortly after, Small said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on Tuesday called on lawmakers to address firearms legislation.

“I’m frustrated and outraged that mass shootings like this continue to happen in communities across the United States,” he said. “This country needs to re-examine its conscience and find out how to get guns out of dangerous people’s hands. … We are begging Congress to protect lives and do something about America’s gun problem.”

Sprawling crime scene spanned several blocks
Police learned of the shooting around 8:30 p.m. Monday when officers were flagged to the crime scene and found multiple people with gunshot wounds, according to Outlaw, the Philadelphia police commissioner.

“As they were scooping up victims and preparing them for transport to the hospital, they also heard multiple gunshots up the street,” Outlaw said.

After responding to the second shooting site, officers again heard more gunshots on a nearby street, she said.

Officers followed the sound of gunfire and pursued the suspect, who authorities say fired a rifle while fleeing the scene. The shooter was taken into custody in an alley, Outlaw said.

At least 50 shell casings were recovered after the shootings, and vehicles were damaged, Outlaw said at a Monday night news conference.