The city of Philadelphia added two more murders for 2012 with the killings of Rasheedah Blunt and Alvaro Bonds, who both died of multiple gunshot wounds on Tuesday, Nov. 27 in unrelated incidents.
According to investigators, Blunt, 27, was in her second-floor apartment in the 3500 block of Old York Road when she was shot several times following an argument with her live-in boyfriend, Dominique Haynes, 33. Just before 11:30 p.m. neighbors called police after hearing gunshots and directed responding officers to the second floor. Blunt, the mother of a six-year old girl, was also babysitting a friend’s three-year old boy. Neither child was harmed.
Almost at once police named Haynes as a person of interest in the shooting. By Thursday, it was announced that the homicide unit, in conjunction with personnel from the U.S. marshal’s service, had him in custody, and as of Tribune press time were still questioning him but hadn’t charged him with Blunt’s murder. Haynes is known to law enforcement, and court documents show he was on two years’ probation following guilty verdicts on charges of criminal attempted escape and resisting arrest.
The second homicide happened just after 4 a.m. in the 2000 block of Orthodox Street. Police responded to a report of gunfire in the vicinity and were directed to the third -lloor apartment in a residence where they found the victim with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and legs.
He has been identified as Alvaro Bonds, 46, of the same location. He was taken to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:30 a.m.
Collaboration Shows Results
This week federal officials announced the results of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership, a collaborative law enforcement effort between federal law enforcement agencies and the Philadelphia Police Department. The joint effort is designed to fight violent crime in some of the city’s hardest -hit neighborhoods. The initiative was announced last summer by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and was carried out over a 120-day period, between June and September of this year. As a result, the U.S. attorney’s office charged 92 defendants in 77 indictments. The cases involve a variety of violent crimes, many of which are subject to lengthy mandatory minimum sentences, such as the 15-year mandatory minimum sentence or life in prison for armed career criminals in possession of firearms. If convicted, 16 defendants will face such sentencing, with several more facing five- and seven-year mandatory sentences for using firearms during crimes of violence.
“This surge of federal resources in Philadelphia – as well as others under way in additional cities - has shown that we can enhance our ability to work with local law enforcement in areas where they're most needed so that we can better protect these communities,” said Holder. “In these times of budgetary challenges, when police departments and other agencies are confronting growing demands with increasingly limited resources, the need for coordination among federal, state and local law enforcement authorities has never been more critical.”