PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An arrest has been made in connection with a shooting that leftparking lot, police said.
At a news conference Monday, police said Yobranny Martinez Fernandez, 18, was arrested in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, around 4 a.m. Monday.
Acting First Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore said Martinez Fernandez allegedly participated in a vehicle theft and fatal shooting of Philadelphia Police Officer Richard Mendez.
Investigators said Martinez Hernández and three others were responsible, including 18-year-old Jesus Duran. Vanore said one of those accomplices is believed to be responsible for firing a gun that hit two Philadelphia officers.
Investigators are still working to obtain more evidence on the other individuals. The reward leading to an arrest and conviction has increased to $237,400.
Officer Mendez’s handcuffs were placed on Martinez Fernandez during his processing. Martinez Fernandez is in the custody of the New Jersey State Police where he awaits extradition to Philadelphia on murder charges.
The shooting inside the airport parking lot happened around 11 p.m. last Thursday.
Police say Officers Mendez and Raul Ortiz were shot after confronting a group of car thieves in an airport parking lot.
Mendez was shot several times in the upper torso and later died at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, police said.
Ortiz was shot in the arm and wasSaturday morning.
“It’s a happy day to see him out of the hospital, knowing he’s on the road to recovery down to his arm, but it’s really his mind and his heart that’s going to need a some time to heal,” said Acting Police Commissioner John Stanford. said.
Investigators said Martinez Hernández and three others were responsible, including 18-year-old Jesus Herman Madera Duran.
Duran was dropped off at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia by a stolen black Dodge Charger after the airport shooting and died from his gunshot wounds. Police said they found this vehicle in central New Jersey over the weekend.
“We believe one of these accomplices is responsible for firing the firearm that shot these three individuals,” Vanore said. “The evidence is clear right now.”
Police said they are still looking into who fired the shots that hit both the officers and Duran. They are also trying to understand why the suspects were in the parking lot.
“We are working with state police as well as federal partners to see if this is an organization and to what extent they are involved,” Vanore said. “We’re not there yet.”
Philadelphia Officer Eddie Lopez, president of the Spanish American Police Officers Association, said he has known Mendez for 21 years.
“It’s a loss, not just for us,” Lopez said. “It is a loss for you, the civilians of Philadelphia, to lose an officer who came to work every day and did his job.”
On Monday, Councilman Quetcy Lozada, a friend of the Mendez family, spoke on their behalf.
“Richie was a great man who was loved by many and we will continue to love him with the memories we have of him,” Lozada said.
Investigators found a stolen black Dodge Charger in Kensington over the weekend. They believe the car is linked to the shooting.
Police said they still have not found Méndez’s gun.
Visitation for Officer Mendez will be next Monday and funeral services will be Tuesday. His family is asking for privacy and time to grieve.