Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of toddler, another suspect still sought

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A suspect has been arrested and charged in the tragic death of a 2-year-old girl who was shot Sunday afternoon while sitting with her mother in her Kensington home.

The child, Nikolette Rivera, was killed when a bullet struck her in the back of the head as she was being held by her mother in their Water Street home. The child’s father is believed to have been the target in the shooting, which is believed to be drug-related. Freddie Perez, 30, was arrested Tuesday night and faces murder charges in the girl’s killing, though it’s unclear if he was the person who pulled the trigger. Police on Wednesday were still searching for another man believed to be involved in the shooting.

“The investigating is still fluid, we are still looking for someone,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Christine Coulter told media. “We do not have that person’s name but at the end of the day we believe that two people were involved, one of them is in custody. We will continue to work the case.”

Police said they were able to locate Perez thanks to tips from the public as well as surveillance footage, which led them to a vehicle connected to the suspect.

Perez now faces charges of murder, including nine counts of attempted murder and conspiracy in Rivera’s death, according to Inquirier.com.   

Both Perez and the second suspect are believed to be responsible for another drug-related shooting that occured a few blocks away, just minutes earlier.

Police said the same rifle was used in both shootings.

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