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Defendants Convicted & Sentenced for String of Shootings Committed in 2018

PHILADELPHIA (October 3, 2022) — A Philadelphia judge convicted Julian Johnson (DOB 2/7/2000) and Quadir Simmons (DOB 10/20/2000) of Attempted Murder (F1), Aggravated Assault (F1), Possession of Firearm Prohibited (M1), and related charges stemming from two shooting incidents that occurred in November and December of 2018 in the city’s Ogontz section. Three victims were injured in the aftermath of the shootings, including a 20-year-old man who remains in a wheelchair to this day and a 24-year-old man who sustained irreversible damage to his arm and internal organs. Investigators believe that Johnson and Simmons targeted these young men because of their affiliation with a rival street group.Investigators determined through social media messages obtained with a warrant that Johnson stole a silver Acura SUV near his Ogontz residence to use in the commission of these shootings. The day after Johnson stole the SUV, a 20-year-old male and 17-year-old male were shot as they stood near the intersection of 8th Street and West Duncannon Avenue.

Nearby video surveillance of the scene accessed by Philadelphia police indicated that a silver Acura SUV—with a distinctive dent on one side of the vehicle—slowed to a crawl before sparks from multiple gunshots were seen coming from the interior. Police arrived and found the 17-year-old bleeding profusely from a graze wound to his head. The 20-year-old suffered serious injuries to his spine, resulting in acute complete paraplegia. No identifications of the suspects in the vehicle could be made due to the poor quality of the surveillance footage, however.Less than a week after the first shooting, a 24-year-old male sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his head, abdomen, and forearm ​by four individuals shown in surveillance footage exiting that same silver Acura ​with the same distinctive dent. Footage showed these four individuals pursuing and firing multiple shots at the victim, continuing to fire while he was down on the ground, then running back into the vehicle and fleeing.

The following day, 35th Police District officers spotted the suspicious vehicle, leading to a brief pursuit before the occupants fled on foot. A crime gun was recovered from this scene. Phone evidence linking Johnson to the theft of the SUV was found in addition to DNA, fingerprint, and ballistics evidence incriminating both defendants. Johnson and Simmons were arrested in February of 2019.Authorities continued their investigation into the defendants’ acquiring of the crime gun. Agents of the Attorney General and DAO’s Gun Violence Task Force (GVTF), with assistance from Philadelphia police, determined that the firearm was illegally purchased by Johnson and that he had obliterated the serial number from the weapon before using it in these non-fatal shootings. Investigators also determined that he straw purchased another firearm before transferring it to an associate. Johnson was subsequently charged with multiple illegal firearm offenses, ranging from Possess Firearm with Manufacture Number Altered (F2), Firearms Not to Be Carried Without License (F3), Conspiracy (F3), and related charges. He was found guilty of these charges in late September by the Hon. Donna Woelpper, and is scheduled for sentencing in November.

“The streets of Philadelphia are safer now thanks to the excellent prosecution of these defendants by Assistant District Attorney Helen Park,” said District Attorney Krasner. “I also commend Assistant District Attorney Sheida Ghadiri and members of the Gun Violence Task Force, including GVTF agents Richard Reinhold and Robert Burke, for their skillful investigation and prosecution of Johnson’s straw purchase. And lastly, thanks to the Philadelphia Police Department for their professionalism and very thorough investigation, including the use of forensic evidence, that helped our office secure justice for the victims in this case as well as communities across our city.”

“I’m grateful to Philadelphia Police Detectives Joseph Cremen and Timothy Hartman and GVTF agents for their tireless work in bringing these two men to justice,” said ADA Park of the DAO’s Homicide and Non-Fatal Shooting Unit. “This case is a perfect example of cooperation across law enforcement that lead to two very dangerous members of the community being held accountable for their wanton disregard for public safety.”Simmons was sentenced to 12-50 years of state incarceration by the Hon. Zachary Shaffer in August. Johnson is scheduled for sentencing for his role in the shootings later this month.

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

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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.