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DAO Gun Violence Task Force Charges Two Suspects in Shooting, Straw Purchase Investigations

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PHILADELPHIA (December 4, 2023) — District Attorney Larry Krasner and members of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Gun Violence Task Force announced on Monday that Waseem Bennett and Michael Brickle are charged with various firearm offenses for their roles in two unrelated cases.Waseem Bennett (DOB 1/5/04) is charged with nine counts of Aggravated Assault (F1)Simple Assault (M2)two counts each of VUFA 6106 (F3) and VUFA 6108 (M1), and related offenses, for his role in a shooting that occurred on the morning of August 28, 2023 in West Kensington. Bennett arrived at the scene and exited his vehicle armed with two unlicensed handguns. He opened fire with both weapons eleven times into a residence on the 2500 block of N. 4th Street, injuring one individual with a graze wound to their back. Four others were injured by shattered glass. Four more individuals, one of whom was the intended target, were in the residence but remained unscathed. Following the shooting, Bennett contacted the intended victim asking him: “Does it sound like the Fourth of July?”Investigators believe that a mutual romantic interest was the motive for the shooting. Law enforcement utilized cell phone location data and surveillance video to link Bennett to the shooting. Police also matched the fired cartridge casings found at the crime scene to a firearm in the defendant’s possession when he was arrested in September.

Michael Brickle (6/4/86) is charged with over two dozen counts of felony straw purchasing and numerous related offenses following a lengthy investigation by agents with the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and Gun Violence Task Force. The investigation began in August 2022 after agents were notified by the Philadelphia Police Department’s Southwest Detectives Division that two firearms recovered in different crimes were originally purchased by Brickle. Working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), state investigators were able to trace seven additional firearm purchases to Brickle in August of that year. An eighth firearm purchase was denied by a gun dealer due to the defendant’s excessive firearm purchase history. Agents obtained and executed a search warrant on Brickle’s residence in the city’s Oxford Circle section. Evidence was discovered at Brickle’s residence linking him to additional firearm purchases.Brickle was arrested in November of this year and is currently in custody on three million dollars bail. While this investigation is ongoing, law enforcement determined that the defendant purchased 23 firearms over the last decade; 21 of those weapons were straw purchased in 2022. Of those 21 firearms, five have been recovered in various incidents ranging from narcotics sales to, tragically, one suicide.“These arrests should send a clear message to anyone who thinks that they can get away with straw purchasing crime guns or using prohibited firearms: We will find you and we will hold you accountable,” said DA Krasner. “My office, in conjunction with the excellent agents and prosecutors assigned to the Gun Violence Task Force, work every day to help make our neighborhoods safer for all. I’m grateful for their dedication and service to our communities.”

“Investigating and prosecuting defendants like Michael Brickle is the top priority of the Gun Violence Task Force,” said Assistant District Attorney William Fritze, Supervisor of the GVTF. “Mr. Brickle, who has conspired numerous times to arm people with weapons that they are prohibited by law from possessing, poses a clear and present danger to the community. We intend to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law. I want to thank Agent Don Marano of the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General for his thorough investigation in this case.”

CONTACT:Dustin Slaughter, [email protected], 215-686-8713


The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually. Learn more about the DAO by visiting

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