Philadelphia mass shooting suspect posted online about guns, loss of ‘freedoms’

Jul 5, 2023, 12:44 PM

Police officers on July 4 investigate the scene of Monday night's mass shooting in southwest Philad...

Police officers on July 4 investigate the scene of Monday night's mass shooting in southwest Philadelphia. (Bastiaan Slabbers/Reuters via CNN)

(Bastiaan Slabbers/Reuters via CNN)

(CNN) — A social media page believed to belong to the man accused of fatally shooting five people in Philadelphia on Monday night includes a series of posts about guns, the Second Amendment and the “loss of freedoms.”

A law enforcement source confirmed to CNN that the Facebook page – since taken down – is believed to belong to Kimbrady Carriker, the 40-year-old charged with the killings.

The most recent public post on the page was made at 10:49 a.m. ET Monday and showed a video advertisement for a tactical weapons accessories company. The video shows a man in tactical gear, holding what appears to be a military-style rifle.

In May, he shared posts from pro-gun groups supporting former President Donald Trump and the Second Amendment. In June, he shared a video of a speech by President Joe Biden and added his view that Biden was trying to “take our arms.”

He posted on the same day, “The only thing more terrifying than blindness is being the only one who can see.”

The details about the Facebook page come two days after the gunman appeared to fire randomly along several blocks of southwest Philadelphia’s Kingsessing neighborhood.

Officers arrested Carriker during a chase on foot, and he had an AR-style rifle, a 9 mm handgun, a scanner that tracks emergency response radio traffic and was wearing a bulletproof vest and ski mask, authorities said.

In a court hearing Wednesday, he was arraigned on charges of murder, attempted murder and carrying a firearm without a license and ordered held without bail. He was not required to enter a plea.

“Public safety is clearly an issue here,” and there is “no set of conditions” under which Carriker wouldn’t be a flight risk,” Magistrate Naomi Williams said at the arraignment in a Philadelphia courtroom.

Carriker had a previous gun conviction and was carrying a “ghost gun” the night of the shooting, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner told CNN on Wednesday. Ghost guns are untraceable, self-assembled firearms, often put together with parts sold online.

The shooting was a “random, premeditated deliberate killing carried out with an assault rifle,” Krasner told CNN on Wednesday.

“This was someone who set out to kill strangers which of course has become way too common in the United States,” Krasner said. The suspect “appeared to have no connection to any of the victims,” he said, and the victims did not appear to have connections with each other.

The shooting is one of at least 350 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. CNN and the archive define a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are shot, not including the shooter. In addition, at least three people died and eight were wounded in a shooting Monday night in Fort Worth, Texas, and two people were killed and 28 were injured in a shooting in Baltimore the day before.

Posts about perceived loss of freedoms

On his Facebook page, Carriker posted pictures of armed protesters dressed as Black Panthers taken at a 2020 Atlanta protest. He posted that they were “exercising their first and second amendment” rights.

There was also a meme featuring photos of actor Wesley Snipes dressed as the vampire hunter from “Blade” and as the drag queen Noxeema from the movie “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.” Above Snipes as Blade, the caption read, “Me at BLM protest.” Above Snipes as Noxeema, it read, “Me at pride.”

The page has references to God and prayer posted in the last week, including a passage from the book of Isaiah posted by Carriker that begins, “I alone am the Lord, the only one who can save you.” Another post quotes Nehemiah: “But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.”

In one post, he complained about what he believed was a loss of freedom. And in a repost this week, he pinned a quote that read, “So often we accept the loss of freedoms in the name of safety. But we never feel any safer and we never get the freedoms back.”

He griped in a June 20 about crime in the community. “During community patrols I have notice a big shame. So many of our 50 + 60 + 70 year old elders are influencing the youth negatively. They are without a doubt promoting and participating in robbing, prostitution, scamming, and murder.”

There are also a slew of inconsequential and humorous memes.

The Philadelphia Public Defender’s Office, which is representing Carriker, said it would not be commenting on the case at this time.

Victims were between 15 and 59 years old

Killed in the shooting were Daujan Brown, 15; Lashyd Merritt, 20; Dymir Stanton, 29; Ralph Moralis, 59; and Joseph Wamah Jr., 31, police said. Wamah’s body was found in a home early Tuesday, while the others were found Monday night, authorities said.

Two boys, ages 2 and 13, were shot in the legs and were in stable condition, police said. A 33-year-old woman and another 2-year-old boy were injured by glass, authorities said.

The two 2-year-old children are twins who were in a car with their mom when shots were fired at them, authorities indicated at a news conference Tuesday.

“On what was supposed to be a beautiful summer evening, this armed and armored individual wreaked havoc, firing with a rifle at their victims seemingly at random,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Krasner, the district attorney, said there was good reason to believe the AR-15 and the ghost gun “may have been obtained illegally.” The investigation into the legality of the gun will take time, he said, “partly … because the NRA has done a hell of a job trying to make it difficult for people to investigate the source of a weapon.”

“He had a gun conviction back in 2003, and yet here we are looking at, you know, five people dead as a result of a mass shooting rampage, where he was well-armed and had another firearm back at his residence,” Krasner added.

The district attorney’s office initially referred to the suspect using they/them pronouns, based off information it had at the time, it said. The DA’s office is now referring to the suspect as a male.

Carriker is facing five counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder, 10 counts of assault, 10 counts of recklessly endangering another person and four counts of weapons charges, according to the DA’s office. His next court appearance is set for July 24.

‘You took my son’

Marie Merritt is grieving the loss of the youngest of her five children – Lashyd Merritt – who was among those killed Monday.

Her son was heading to a store to buy a snack when he was shot, Marie Merritt told CNN affiliate WPVI.

“You took my son. You took my baby,” she told the outlet. “He was my prize. He was my No. 1 prize, and he knows that. … I miss him so much.”

Investigators believe Wamah, the victim who was found dead inside a home in Kingsessing, was the first person killed in the shooting, authorities said Tuesday.

Wamah’s father found his body in a living room around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, city police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Wamah had been shot several times, and responding medics declared him dead shortly after, Small said.

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Philadelphia mass shooting suspect posted online about guns, loss of ‘freedoms’