Philadelphia Interim Police Commissioner John M. Stanford Jr. Archivo (AP Photo/Tassanee Vejpongsa)

Two more people have been charged in connection with the airport parking garage shooting that killed a Philadelphia police officer and wounded another last week, authorities announced Wednesday, saying they now have in custody all three suspects who were sought in the attack. A fourth suspect was killed.

Alexander Batista-Polanco, 21, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Hendrick Peña-Fernandez, 21, of Pennsauken, New Jersey, were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, First Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore said at a news conference.

It was unclear if the suspects have attorneys. No listed telephone numbers for them could be found Wednesday and a spokesperson for the Defender Association of Philadelphia declined to comment.

A third suspect, 18-year-old Yobranny Martinez Fernandez, was arrested on Monday, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and brought to Philadelphia, authorities said. Martinez Fernandez is from Camden County, New Jersey, and was being held in that state on a fugitive warrant. All three suspects were charged with murder and attempted murder, according to Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore.

A fourth suspect, 18-year-old Jesus Herman Madera Duran, was shot during the confrontation and died at a hospital after being dropped off by his cohorts, police said.

Officers Richard Mendez and Raul Ortiz had just started their shift about 11 p.m. last Thursday when they heard breaking glass and saw several people breaking into a car in the parking lot at Philadelphia International Airport. A confrontation ensued, and the two officers and one of the suspects were shot.

Mendez, 50, who had been on the force for more than two decades, was shot four times and pronounced dead at a hospital. His handcuffs were placed on Martinez Fernandez at the time of the suspect’s arrest, a symbolic practice used when officers are killed. Ortiz, a 20-year veteran of the force, was shot once in the arm and was released from the hospital on Saturday.

The suspects fled in an SUV reported stolen a week ago that was later seen at a hospital Thursday dropping off Madera Duran, who had been shot in the chest, abdomen and left arm. He was later pronounced dead.

In addition to the three prime suspects, police are pursuing others who either assisted the suspects or tried to obstruct the investigation, Vanore said.

“We had people burning a vehicle. … We had people who helped rent hotel rooms that weren’t the people staying in them, and we had people who knew where people were and didn’t tell us,” he said.

Police believe one of the suspects alone was responsible for firing the bullets that hit the two officers and Madera Duran, Vanore said, but he said it would be up to the district attorney to confirm the information after investigating the evidence further. He said police believe the person fired his gun as the officers were trying to detain at least one of the other suspects.

“Someone came behind (Mendez) and fired a weapon,” he said.

Investigators are still searching for the slain officer’s gun, which they don’t believe was fired, Vanore said.

In a statement read aloud by family friend and Philadelphia City Council member Quetcy Lozada, relatives of Mendez said they were “relieved and grateful” for the arrests.

“As a family, we are grieving and are facing personal trauma through this murder, as are the officers who worked with Ritchie … and as we do, each officer of the 25th police district and the airport unit as well as across the city continue to put their uniforms on every day and continue to protect and serve our city.»

Police had offered a reward of at least $237,400 for information leading to arrests in the case, including $30,000 from two local police unions, $20,000 from the city, and funds from businesses and other police groups. Authorities will comb through the tips they received to determine how the money will be disbursed, said Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford.

Stanford noted last week that the shooting came amid the unrelated deaths of two other officers and only a week after three other officers were shot and wounded while responding to a call. He called last week’s shooting “a numb, numb moment for us.”


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