PHILADELPHIA (January 25, 2023) – The District Attorney’s Office has charged Edwin Vargas (DOB: 5/28/1998) for his role in multiple fatal and non-fatal shooting incidents that appear to be connected by a history of intimate partner violence and group violence.
Vargas was most recently convicted and served a sentence for Aggravated Assault and illegal firearms possession following a January 2020 arrest. Two bench warrants for his arrest for violations of probation were approved on January 5, 2023. Philadelphia Police, acting on a separate investigation, arrested Vargas on January 18, 2023. Vargas is now being charged by the DA’s Homicide/Non-Fatal Shootings Unit with four separate criminal cases.
In the early morning hours of December 30, 2022, 24th District Police officers responded to a report of multiple gunshots fired in the Harrowgate section of the city. The complaining witness reported receiving a phone call from an unknown number that she did not answer at approximately 3:52 a.m., then hearing 10 to 15 gun shots. Several hours later, at approximately 7:34 a.m., the complainant received another phone call from an unknown number, which was followed by another 5 to 6 gunshots. Text messages and a voicemail message that were threatening in nature and claimed responsibility for the shootings were received by the complainant, indicating that the caller had been Edwin Vargas, a former boyfriend.
The DA’s Office has charged Vargas with Terroristic Threats, Stalking, Discharge of a Firearm into Occupied Structure, VUFA 6105/6106/6108, and related offenses for his alleged role in this incident.
On January 3, 2023, 25th and 35th District officers responded to a report of a shooting at the 900 block of West Hunting Park Avenue. A 28-year-old Hispanic male victim was found with a gunshot wound to the head, in the passenger seat of a 2010 black Dodge Avenger that had come to a stop on Roosevelt Boulevard after striking a pole. The male shooting victim was pronounced on the scene, while the male driver was treated for non-fatal injuries sustained while fleeing the shooting.
Following further investigation of this incident by Philadelphia Police detectives, the DA’s Office has charged Vargas with Murder, VUFA 6105/6106/6108, Possession of an Instrument of Crime, and Recklessly Endangering Another Person.
On January 4, 2023, the DA’s Office alleges that Vargas returned to the Harrowgate residence and again fired shots in an attempt to terrorize and harm the former romantic partner. He will be charged with Terroristic Threats, Stalking, Discharge of a Firearm into Occupied Structure, VUFA 6105/6106/6108, and related offenses for his alleged role in this incident.
On January 9, 2023, Philadelphia Police responded to the scene of a mass shooting at 7300 Rowland Avenue. Three Hispanic males were fatally shot and one male was transported to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. Surveillance video capturing the incident shows the four victims traveling together in a vehicle, coming to a stop, and then exiting on foot. Video captures three individuals, including allegedly Vargas, exiting a separate vehicle before firing upon the group of four victims.
The two vehicles were reported stolen in Harrison Township, N.J, on January 8. Following further Philadelphia Police investigation with support from New Jersey law enforcement, the DA’s Office is charging Vargas with three counts of Murder, one count of Attempted Murder, and related offenses for his role in the January 9th shooting. Investigation of this incident is active and ongoing, as at least two additional individuals involved in these shootings remain at large.
“While our office continues to investigate these shootings along with Philadelphia Police and other law enforcement partners, it seems clear that this is an individual who was banned from accessing firearms, but was able to do so anyway, and that a history of toxic behavior toward a former romantic partner may have motivated what we allege are his violent, criminal acts,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “I am grateful to PPD Homicide detectives and investigators for working to bring this defendant into custody so he could do no more harm to a woman who appears to have been living in fear of violence from this individual for far too long. I also urge our leaders in federal and local government to take bolder action to protect women and all people from intimate partner violence. We need interventions to prevent the threats, stalkings, and shootings – not wait until after it’s too late for survivors.”
The District Attorney’s Office encourages members of the press to share resources for people attempting to exit unsafe relationships and people who are experiencing intimate partner abuse and violence:
National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-888-799-SAFE (7233)
Women Against Abuse: 1-866-723-3014
CONTACT:[email protected]Jane Roh, 215-686-8711,
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 PhillyDA.org.