CHESTER — Private surveillance systems recorded video that helped city and county investigators make a pair of swift arrests in two unrelated homicides in the city.
Oneil Douglas, 26, of Yeadon, is charged in the May 23 fatal shooting of Rudolph Brown. Andrew Patrick, 32, of Chester, is charged in the May 28 fatal shooting of Ricardo Brown, Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland and Chester Police Chief James Nolan IV announced in a release issued Tuesday night.
Douglas, arrested June 3, and Patrick, arrested June 4, are both being held without bail at the county prison on first- and third-degree murder, criminal homicide and related offenses.
While the city was at an all-time low for shootings during the first quarter of 2019, Nolan stated there’s been an unfortunate uptick in recent weeks.
“These two arrests show a fast response to the gunplay that recently kicked off … Those that would take the life of another should take note,” stated Nolan.
“In the two unrelated shootings that occurred within days of one another, two men’s lives were tragically cut short when they were shot and killed,” Copeland stated. “As a result of the swift response and outstanding investigative efforts of the Chester police and our Criminal Investigation Division, along with crucial video surveillance, we were able to make quick arrests in these cases and retrieve the weapons used to commit these homicides.”
It was about 9 a.m. on May 23 when city police were dispatched to the area of West Ninth Street for a male victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. Arriving officers found Rudolph Brown lying on the front walk of a business. Douglas, who was on scene at the time and told authorities he shot Brown, was in possession of a .40-caliber handgun, which was seized by police.
Brown was transported to Crozer-Chester Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Through an investigation led by city Detective Michael Canfield and county Detective Daniel McFarland, along with witness statements, it was determined that Douglas was friends with the victim’s girlfriend.
“The victim and Douglas had a disagreement about the manner in which the victim treated his girlfriend,” according to the release.
The day of the shooting, May 23, the victim and Douglas spoke on the phone and during a verbal altercation, “Douglas stated that the victim threatened him and his family.
“Douglas worked at a local Chester business and on May 23, 2019, the victim appeared at the business,” the release states. “Video surveillance at the business showed that Douglas, while armed with a firearm in his hand, was within the business when the victim appeared at the door. Douglas unlocked the front door and allowed the victim to enter the business. The two of them began to talk and the victim then walked back to the front door to leave but kept his foot in the threshold. Douglas then kicked the victim twice in the shin, after which the victim removed his foot. The victim began to open the door and Douglas shot the shot, striking him in the torso.”
Ricardo Brown, who police said is no relation to Rudolph Brown, was pronounced dead at the scene in the area of the 2500 block of West Third Street when police arrived on May 28, about 12:45 a.m. His body was lying on the sidewalk, with a single gunshot wound in his back. One 9 mm fired cartridge casing was found near his body, and a second 9 mm fired cartridge casing was found in a rear yard of the residence where his body was located.
“While on scene, Chester police were dispatched to a residence in Chester regarding the victim’s homicide. Police radio reported that a male who identified himself as Andrew Patrick reported he was involved in a robbery/shooting in the vicinity where the decedent was found,” the release states. “Patrick reported that he had the involved firearm and that he would wait for officers to arrive.”
Patrick was subsequently interviewed, and his 9 mm Smith and Wesson MP Shield firearm and accompanying magazine, were taken into evidence. The two recovered cartridge casings were later determined to have been fired from Patrick’s firearm.
During an interview, Patrick told police he was in the rear alley of the 2500 block of Third Street when he was approached by Brown and another male, now identified as Witness #1 in the case, according to the release.
“Patrick greeted the two males and stated Witness #1 had a firearm in his hand that was pointed at the ground. Patrick stated that Witness #1 told Patrick to take everything out of his pocket. Patrick then pulled out his firearm and everyone then “scattered,” the release states. “Patrick denied seeing a firearm on the victim, however stated he saw the victim reach towards his waist band.
“Patrick stated that he and the victim ran in the same direction and both of then ran through an alley and cut through the same yard. Patrick stated the victim ran down a dead end and Patrick then shot the victim. Patrick claimed the victim then threw his hands in the air, ducked, and then began to run towards Patrick, when Patrick fired a second shot at the victim.”
As part of the investigation led by city Detective Joseph McFate and county Detective Timothy Deery, video surveillance in the vicinity of the initial meeting place between Patrick, the victim and Witness #1 was reviewed.
“The video showed all three individuals meeting and then suddenly scattering. Patrick was then observed running 5 to 10 feet behind the victim with his arm extended, consistent with running after the victim while pointing a firearm at the victim,” the release states.
Both arrests were the result of investigation, video surveillance, ballistics evidence and witness testimony.
Meanwhile, Copeland said Wednesday that she is withholding the mug shots of both Douglas and Patrick for safety reasons. She declined to elaborate.
While these cases rested on private surveillance systems, Nolan noted that Chester continues on its goal of citywide camera surveillance. With several cameras already installed in the Upper East Side, from the city’s Sun Hill section to Edgmont Avenue, the focus is now on neighborhoods in the West End.
“Any surveillance footage is helpful because it gives us direction, and confirmation,” the chief said.
Douglas is listed for a preliminary hearing on June 25 before Magisterial District Judge Dawn L. Vann. Patrick’s hearing is listed for June 26 before Magisterial District Judge Spencer B. Seaton Jr. Online court records do not indicate if the defendants had retained attorneys.