Captured Cop-killer Suspect Caught

Posted: November 19, 1993

An intensive, two-day manhunt for a suspect in the Tuesday slaying of a plainclothes police officer in the Spring Garden section ended last night on the second floor of a North Philadelphia rowhouse, police said.

Walter Ceo, 20, of South Carolina, offered no resistance when police raided a house on 24th Street near Sedgley Avenue about 9:45 p.m., Homicide Capt. John Appledorn told a press conference outside police headquarters at 8th and Race streets.

Appledorn said it is "not completely settled" whether Ceo fired any of the shots that killed 9th District Officer Stephen Dmytryk as police broke up a robbery at a MAC machine near 19th and Spring Garden streets about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Two suspects had robbed a man and were walking the victim to the MAC machine to force him to withdraw more money when Dmytryk and his partner, William Repsch, spotted the incident. Dmytryk and Repsch were on burglary detail and had staked out the MAC machine due to a rash of incidents there.

After radioing for backup, Dmytryk and Repsch approached the suspects and identified themselves as police officers. Gunfire erupted and Dmytryk was wounded three times - in the head, the shoulder and chest. He was pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital.

Repsch and two other plainclothes officers who answered the call for backup returned fire and fatally wounded one suspect who was later identified as Rodney Steven Jones, 22, of South Carolina. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene.

The second suspect escaped, but a citywide search closed in on him last night.

Homicide Lt. Robert Hicks said members of homicide, the 22nd District and the Police Department's Anti-Crime Team got no response when they went to the front door of the 24th Street house. Police then forced open the door and rushed to the second floor where they found the unarmed Ceo standing in the hallway.

Ceo was charged with murder, robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy, unlawful restraint, a weapons offense and four counts each of simple and aggravated assault.

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