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Man arrested, another sought in 2018 murder of 17-year-old Sandrea Williams in Philadelphia

Sandrea Williams' family says they relied on faith after 17-year-old killed in West Philadelphia
Sandrea Williams' family says they relied on faith after 17-year-old killed in West Philadelphia 02:39

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A man was arrested earlier this week and a second is wanted for the May 2018 murder of 17-year-old Sandrea Williams in West Philadelphia, according to the district attorney's office.

Devin Bryant turned himself in to police Tuesday in connection with Williams' killing, Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Palmer said during a news conference Friday. Court documents show Bryant has been charged with murder and related offenses.

Investigators are seeking a second man in the triple shooting, Salik White. Authorities pleaded for White, 26, to turn himself in.

"I'm here to say God and time equals justice," Niasha Rhoden, Williams' aunt said.

It's a moment Rhoden has waited years for. Nearly six years to the day her 17-year-old niece Willaims, was murdered in West Philly, city leaders announced an arrest has been made.

"Within this, the faith that I have, I knew one day we would get answers to our question," Rhoden said.

Man turns himself in, another sought in 2018 killing of Sandrea Williams, 17, in West Philadelphia 29:27

Williams and two teenage boys were shot on Friday, May 11, 2018, in the 300 block of North Simpson Street, according to police. Investigators claim two gunmen, now identified as Bryant and White, fired 23 shots into a group of kids.

Williams was fatally struck while she was standing in her driveway with her 17-year-old friend, police said. A 15-year-old boy in the street was also shot. Both teen boys were injured in the shooting.

Palmer said Friday that investigators believe the triple shooting stemmed from a feud between two groups: a group associated with 61st and Jefferson streets and another ranging from 60th and 64th streets in Callowhill.

"Tragically we think that this was yet another incident in a back-and-forth feud between two groups in West Philadelphia," Palmer said. "Ms. Williams has nothing to do with those groups."

Palmer said the group from 61st and Jefferson believed the intended targets were on the block when they opened gunfire.

"Tragically, it was Ms. Williams that was killed," Palmer said.

Williams was not the intended target.

Police said in 2018 that Williams was shot and killed walking away from her steps, where she was sitting with her mom.

"Her mom just looked so blank in the face like she was in pure shock," a neighbor told CBS News Philadelphia in 2018.

Palmer said the investigation took over six years, but there wasn't any one piece of evidence that solved the cold case. He cited ballistic evidence as well as electronic forensics like cellphones and social media.

"It was a very piecemeal, painstaking, nonstop investigation for six years," Palmer said. 

"It's days like today that are so meaningful for us, and I know are so meaningful for the family," First Deputy Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department John Stanford said. 

Mayor Cherelle Parker attended the news conference expressing support for the family. City leaders said Friday's news doesn't change what happened on that tragic day, but they hope it can bring some closure to the Williams family. They also said this case should serve as a reminder.

"We need to remember that every cold case is a hot case, every cold case is a case that can be solved," District Attorney Larry Krasner said.

Investigators said if you know where White is you're urged to contact Philadelphia Police Department's Homicide Unit. 

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