Man charged with shooting infant believed connected to two-year-old’s killing

HUNTING PARK — An 11-month-old boy may not be able to recover after being shot while he was a passenger in a car. Philadelphia police say his injuries from four bullet wounds are that severe.

Furthermore, police say the suspect with a long criminal record — Francisco Ortiz, 29 of North Philadelphia — may have given the AK-47 assault rifle to the suspected gunmen in the next day’s shooting that killed two-year-old Nikolette Rivera inside her home, and wounded her mother and a worker.

CHARGED: Francisco Ortiz, from Philadelphia Police Department

The infant’s shooting in the car happened Saturday, Oct. 19, on the 4000 block of N. 7th Street in Hunting Park.

Less than 24 hours later, there were two shootings: on the 400 block of E. Clearfield Street and eight minutes later on the 3300 block of N. Water Street, both in Kensington. The one on Water Street was the deadly one. Police and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office confirmed the connection between the Sunday shootings, last Friday.

According to Capt. Jason Smith of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Homicide Unit,

“The motive for these shootings appears to be for control of narcotics territory and its distribution in the area.”

CHARGED: Freddie Perez and Tayvon Thomas, from Philadelphia Police Department

The suspects in the Sunday shootings — including the deadly one — are Freddie Perez, 30 of Chester in Delaware County, and Tayvon Thomas, 25 of North Philadelphia. Both have long criminal records.

Ortiz was arrested last Thursday, Oct. 24. He’s charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, violation of the Uniform Firearms Act and related offenses.

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