Gunman enters car in Camden, kills 2, injures 3

Posted: October 09, 2012

In a city beset with homicides, a masked gunman crept up to a parked car in Camden over the weekend, got in through the driver's side, and fired repeatedly at its five occupants, killing two and injuring three, authorities said.

The horror didn't stop there.

After a 16-year-old passenger with bullet wounds to an arm and shoulder stumbled out of the Chevrolet Lumina, which was parked at an apartment complex on Hull Road in Fairview, and ran away, the gunman, who also wielded a machete, drove off in the car - with four shooting victims still inside.

He managed to go about a mile before one of them, a 20-year-old woman shot in the face, who at first reportedly played dead in the backseat, sources said, jumped out on a dirt road near the 2500 block of Morgan Boulevard, only to be pursued by the attacker.

She got away and called her father.

The gunman remained at large Sunday after having last been seen running toward basketball courts near Morgan Boulevard, Camden police and the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said.

The attack followed two particularly gruesome killings in Camden that captured national headlines in recent months: the decapitation of a 2-year-old boy by his 33-year-old mother in August, and the fatal stabbing in September of a 6-year-old boy trying to fend off a man who was allegedly raping his 12-year-old sister.

Saturday's killings, which occurred just before midnight, pushed the city's homicide total this year to 50, eight short of a record set in 1995.

Authorities identified Saturday's dead as Jewel Manire, 18, who was behind the wheel of the Lumina and was shot in the head, and Khalil Gibson, 20, of Camden, who was in the backseat. Where Manire was living could not be determined Sunday.

Another 16-year-old female passenger, who was also shot in the head, and the 20-year-old woman shot in the face remained in critical condition at Cooper University Hospital in Camden on Sunday.

The 16-year-old who managed to escape was also being treated at Cooper Hospital.

Relatives and friends of the victims gathered throughout the day Sunday in a hospital waiting room. One person who knew Manire declined to comment, saying it was too soon after the killing.

Police could not confirm a report that the shooting stemmed from an argument earlier Saturday at a bowling alley where a birthday party had been held for Manire's young child.

As the city's homicide tally has continued to climb, it has produced an outpouring of anger, resolve, and remorse. Most of this year's recorded homicides have been in North Camden and the Lanning Square, Whitman Park, and Gateway neighborhoods.

The youngest victim was Zahree Thomas, whose mother, Chevonne Thomas, put his head in the freezer after cutting it off in the Parkside section. Thomas has a history of smoking "wet," a mix of marijuana and PCP that can lead to hallucinations and bursts of violence, authorities said.

Osvaldo Rivera, 31, who is accused in the stabbing death of the 6-year-old boy whose sister he allegedly raped, told police that he had smoked "wet" before those attacks, authorities said.

Last Monday, members of a group called Stop Trauma on People planted crosses in Roosevelt Plaza near City Hall and in a field in North Camden bearing the names of homicide victims. The group intends to plant two more crosses on Monday in both locations in memory of Manire and Gibson.

"This act of violence is more horrific and disturbing given the nature of the incident, number of victims, and their ages," Angel Osorio said of Saturday's killings.

She is involved in STOP's efforts and serves as the facilitator of District Council Collaborative Boards, a group of community members and law enforcement officers that addresses public-safety and quality-of-life issues.

Authorities ask anyone with information to contact John Hunsinger, an investigator with the Prosecutor's Office, at 856-365-3239 or Camden Police Detective Shawn Donlon at 856-757-7420. Information can also be e-mailed to ccpotips@ccprosecutor.org.


Contact Darran Simon at 856-779-3829, dsimon@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @darransimon.

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