As of Tribune press time, while law enforcement authorities have not yet arrested the two suspects in the case, they are questioning a person of interest and say they know who they’re looking for regarding the second individual.
On Wednesday, officers with the Fugitive Task Force descended on the Bartram Village public housing building in the city’s Southwest section. When they left they took with them an individual identified as Rafael Jones, 23. Jones has not been charged with Walker’s killing, and so far remains a person of interest.
“Right now he has not been charged, but he is being questioned,” said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. “Based on a tip, our Fugitive Task Force picked him up in Southwest Philadelphia. As for the second suspect, we know who it is that we’re looking for - and we’ll get him.”
Jones, who also goes by the alias Rafael Manigault, has been through the justice system several times since he was 18, according to court documents. He was arrested on October 16, 2007 and charged with aggravated assault, carrying a firearm without a license, terroristic threats, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. The charges were withdrawn. On April 1, 2008, Jones was sentenced to two to four years in prison, followed by three years probation, after being found guilty of weapons offenses for an incident in January 2008. Court documents also show that he was arrested again on February 13, 2012, for robbery, conspiracy; illegal weapons offenses, theft and recklessly endangering another person, and again the charges were withdrawn.
Investigators said that Jones is a hardened, entrenched criminal and has been reluctant to cooperate. If and when he is charged with Walker’s murder, there may be an additional robbery charge stemming from an incident in February.
Earlier this week, law enforcement authorities released surveillance video of the two men wanted in connection with the death of Officer Walker. The surveillance footage, released by the Philadelphia Police Department clearly shows Walker, 40, heading to the bus stop and looking over his shoulder several times.
“On Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, at 6 a.m., police responded to a shooting at 20th and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. When they arrived they found Officer Moses Walker; he had been shot multiple times. He was transported to Hahnemann University Hospital where he was pronounced dead,” said Captain James Clark of the Homicide Unit. “On the 2100 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue, two males approached him. A robbery was announced and they demanded money. At this time, the officer attempted to pull out his off duty weapon. That’s when one of the males fired, striking the officer once in the chest, once in the stomach and once in the hand.”
Walker was killed just a few blocks from the station house. He was a 19-year veteran of the force and was just a year away from retirement. Funeral arrangements are now in place for the officer.
The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the criminals responsible has grown to $118,000. Anyone with information can call 215-686-TIPS or call the Homicide Unit at 215-893-3334.