An arrest has been made in connection with the killing of Philadelphia police officer Ofc. Richard Mendez at a parking garage in Philadelphia International Airport. Mendez, 50, was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at the hospital after confronting several individuals breaking into a vehicle on Thursday night. Another officer, Raul Ortiz, 60, was also shot in the arm but has since been released from the hospital.
The person arrested in connection with the incident has been identified as Yobranny Martinez Fernandez from Camden County, New Jersey. Philadelphia Police Dep. Commissioner Frank Vanore stated in a news conference that Fernandez was apprehended in the Cherry Hill area following information received around 2 a.m. The arrest was carried out by the U.S. Marshals, FBI, New Jersey State Police, and the Philadelphia Police Homicide Division around 4 a.m.
Fernandez is currently in custody in New Jersey and awaits extradition back to Philadelphia. It remains unclear who pulled the trigger, and authorities are searching for at least two more individuals involved in the incident.
The suspects fled the scene in a stolen SUV, which was later seen at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where 18-year-old Jesus Herman Madera Duran was dropped off. Duran, who was believed to be involved in the confrontation with the officers, had sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead on Thursday night.
Police believe the same weapon was used to shoot both officers and Duran. However, the gun belonging to the slain officer has not been located, and it is unknown if it was fired during the incident.
Authorities have released video footage showing at least one suspect and the vehicle used to drop off Madera Duran at the hospital. A black Dodge Charger found in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood is believed to be connected to the shooting and is linked to the case.
The reward for information leading to an arrest in this case currently stands at $244,000.