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Accused ‘ringleader’ of Pennsylvania carjacking crew charged in connection to two murders, shootings, police say

carjacking suspect
Source: Philadelphia Police Department; UNSPLASH

Feb. 23 2022, Published 5:02 p.m. ET

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A Pennsylvania man accused of being the ringleader of a prolific carjacking crew has been taken into custody on murder charges, officials said.

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On Feb. 22, Philadelphia police announced officers arrested 28-year-old Jonathan Akubu for the fatal shooting of 60-year-old Marine Corps veteran George Briscella as well as the shooting death of Aya Gabasi six days later.

Akubu also faces aggravated assault charges in connection to two other victims who were shot but survived.

Ballistic tests, police said, allegedly linked the two murders with the other two shootings and officers recovered an AK-47 and other firearms from Akubu’s apartment.

“Look at what our people are up against. I mean, our officers are equipped with Glocks generally and body armor,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said. “Some of these guys are running around with AK47s, AR-15s and multi-shot clips.”

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The suspect allegedly may be connected to nearly fifty carjackings throughout the Philadelphia area, KYW-TV reported, citing law enforcement sources.


According to the station’s sources, detectives were able to trace some of the stolen cars to ports, including in New Jersey and Delaware, where they were then exported to worldwide destinations, including Africa.

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KYW-TV’s sources alleged Akubu and at least four other carjackers would target the owners of Toyotas at gunpoint.

“We think that Jonathan was the ringleader for this, and we think the individuals that he was working with, more than likely, were younger than him,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith said.

carjacking suspect
Source: Philadelphia Police Department; UNSPLASH

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