PROSPECT PARK- A Delaware County man has been arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection with a January shooting in Prospect Park resulting from what authorities call a drug deal gone bad.
Shaheem Rice, 21, was picked up by Prospect Park Police on a search warrant early Tuesday morning in the 600 block of Hibberd Avenue in Collingdale Borough. He faces 14 charges including criminal attempt first-degree murder, and eight felony counts of aggravated assault, robbery and illegal possession of a firearm when Rice allegedly shot at a car full of teenagers, injuring one who was shot in the face.
Prospect Park Police Chief David Madonna said Rice was arrested without incident with the help of Collingdale police and the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division.
Rice was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Jack Lippart Tuesday morning, who set bail at 10 percent of $140,000. Online court records show Rice had not yet posted bail Tuesday afternoon, or retained an attorney. He was remanded to the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Concord.
According to Prospect Park police, a drug deal was set up around 7 p.m. on Jan. 18 between three teenagers and a particular individual whom they had dealt with previously for their exchanges.
“They contacted that person who then sent Shaheem instead,” said Prospect Park Det. Sgt. Henry O’Neill. What transpired when the meetup occurred that night in the 700 block of Lincoln Avenue was not declared publicly by police, but what eventually happened was Rice allegedly firing a single bullet at the vehicle that broke through a rear window and hit one of the teens in the face.
The teenager was rushed to the hospital and has since been recovering.
According to O’Neill, none of the teenagers have been charged in the violent exchange.
O’Neill said not much traction had been made on the case since January, but the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reached out to him last month with information regarding Rice’s summer arrest in Philadelphia.
“ATF called and they forwarded information to us that this might be your guy,” said O’Neill.
Online court records show Rice was arrested on gun charges on Aug. 17 for carrying a firearm in public and for a firearm not to be carried without a license. That firearm was taken by police for evidence. Based on a ballistics report from the Prospect Park shooting and the investigation of the ATF, it proved to be the same weapon used in the January incident. O’Neill said the gun was stolen from Upper Darby in 2018.
Court records show Rice was out on bail that was set at 10 percent of $15,000. His home address on the Philadelphia court docket is listed as Marcus Hook.
As the year pressed on, and cooperation from the teenagers stalled, O’Neill said the tip from the ATF was the one piece they needed to identify the potential shooter and try to arrest them.
“It was one of those things that may have gone to the wayside if no one stepped forward,” said O’Neill, who was promoted to detective sergeant in October. “I was revisiting the cases because you want them closed and know what’s going on with them. With this information it was at the right time and projected us forward.”
Authorities could not disclose how they identified Rice’s location to serve Tuesday’s warrant.
Rice is due before Judge Lippart for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 23. He was due in Philadelphia Municipal Court Tuesday morning for a hearing on the gun charge case but has since been rescheduled to late January.