READING, Pa. - The man who pulled the trigger in a shocking slaying in broad daylight has been nabbed, Reading police said.
Wilbert Colon, 24, is now facing charges of first- and third-degree murder in connection with the killing of Tarik Billups, officials said.
Billups, 31, was beaten, then shot and killed in the 1600 block of Cotton Street in Reading on June 15, police said.
"From the very beginning, we had several witnesses, we had other people who were involved in the original physical altercation," said Sgt. John Solecki, Reading Police Department.
Witnesses identified the shooter as Colon, police said.
Officials said Colon was no stranger to the law.
"He was already wanted on parole violations. He had state parole violations, and he also had a parole violation from another county," said Sgt. Solecki. "So, he was a wanted person when he committed this murder."
Thanks to an anonymous tip call, police located Colon hiding out in a hotel in Muhlenberg Township on June 18.
Colon tried to run away, but was quickly collared, police said.
Neighbors expressed relief over the arrest.
"Justice is served I guess," said Lamont Gore. "Yeah, that's basically it."
"I think it's pretty awesome they caught the person," said Raquel Chamorro.
Some residents said they are still so upset by this murder they will be calling on community leaders for change.
"Maybe if we would have football, baseball, have people come out and rehabilitate some of these youth it would help relieve the gang violence, and would let them know that people care," Leticia Gonzalez said.
Police initially said as many as five men in their early to mid-20s may have been involved in the homicide. So far, no other arrests have been made.
The shooting may have been related to an argument the victim had the night before, police said.
Anyone with information about the homicide can call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley FreeImages.com/Jason Morrison