According to reports, the suspect accused of killing five people in Monday’s mass shooting was a Black Lives Matters activist and a cross-dresser.
The killer opened fire in a neighborhood in southwest Philadelphia shortly before 8:30 pm on Monday. He killed five people and injured two others.
The killer used an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun. He wore ski masks and body armor and randomly targeted victims. The suspect was cornered by police officers, who took him into custody without incident.
According to the New York Post, the suspect, a male 40 years old, had posted photos of himself on social media in women’s clothes just three months prior. The individual posted repeatedly in support of Black Lives Matter on social media.
The suspect’s “identification” is unclear, but the law enforcement agencies use “they/them” to refer to him. CNN reported:
A spokesperson for the district attorney’s offices in Philadelphia told CNN that they/them is the pronoun used to refer to the suspect, based on the “information available at this time.” Philadelphia officials used the pronouns he/him for the suspect at a news conference on Tuesday.
The suspect is facing more than 30 criminal counts, including five murder charges, five attempted murder charges, ten assault charges, ten counts of recklessly endangering someone else, and four weapons charges.
The day after the mass shooting, city officials including Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner both condemned allegedly lax gun laws. Krasner also specifically attacked Republicans by claiming that they were “against the safety” of citizens due to their support for Second Amendment rights.
There’s no way to know what laws could have stopped Monday’s massacre. Krasner and Kenney did not offer any suggestions. However, Krasner suggested that Pennsylvania adopt strict gun laws similar to New Jersey’s.
The Post reported that the suspect had a criminal record, which included a 2003 arrest, for drug possession and possession of a gun without a permit. The Post reported that the individual pleaded guilty later to possessing firearms without a permit, and received three years probation. All other charges were dismissed.