One suspect still on loose, another charged in slaying in Wilson home
An Easton man has been charged in the Sept. 25 slaying of 18-year-old Nikal Jones in Wilson, the Northampton County district attorney’s office announced Friday.
Aquasay Ali Harris, 30, was charged Thursday with first degree murder, homicide, and four counts of aggravated assault, as well as lesser charges.
Police are still looking for Elijah Ford, 31, of New Jersey, in connection with the shooting, District Attorney Terry Houck said during a news conference Friday. Another man, Ca’mel Douglas, 19, who is a person of interest, was taken into custody last weekend by police in Newark, New Jersey, on a separate charge and faces extradition to Northampton County.
Early Sept. 25, police found Jones wounded in a home in the 1600 block of Spruce Street. He died at the scene.
Another man who was in the home, Shadee Johnson, 30, was treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound and was expected to survive.
Johnson told detectives that on Sept. 24 he was hanging out with Jones, Harris, Ford and Douglas in the kitchen of the Spruce Street home whenDouglas asked who they were going to “drill” that night.
That led to an argument between Douglas and Johnson, according to the criminal complaint filed Thursday.
Harris then asked Douglas for a gun, prompting Douglas to retrieve a black bag from another room. Harris then displayed a handgun, which he pointed at Johnson, the complaint says. Johnson told police Douglas and Ford also were armed.
Ford, Harris and Douglas said they were leaving and walked toward the living room, according to the complaint. Johnson then heard gunshots. He told police Harris came running into the kitchen and shot him in the groin. He fought with Harris as the gun fired multiple times, the complaint says.
While he was fighting withHarris, Johnson heard gunfire coming from elsewhere in the kitchen. Johnson said he knocked Harris out and then saw that Jones had been shot multiple times and was gasping for air.
Another witness told police that Douglas, Harris and Ford were discussing doing a robbery and that they were passing around a handgun.
When shots were being fired, the witness fell into a small room near the kitchen. Ashot fired into the room missed the witness, the complaint says, but the person could see that the shooter was wearing the same “bubble style” black jacket as Douglas.
Houck said his office is working with the Lehigh County district attorney, Union County, New Jersey, prosecutor’s office and Easton police to determine whether the shooting is related to a spate of recent violence in the area.
Houck also noted that Timothy Mancini, 18, of Phillipsburg, whodied in a 4 a.m. single vehicle crash on Freemansburg Avenue on Sept. 25, was a known accomplice of Harris and Ford and had stopped by the Spruce Street residence on the night of the shooting to ask police about it. He was on his way to Ford’s house when the crash happened.
While the crash remains under investigation, detectives do not believe it was directly related to the shooting.
“The neighborhood has to understand that we are very conscious of what has been going on and that’s why I wanted to be as transparent as I could in this situation,” Houck said. “We are out there working real hard, the police are out there working real hard trying to track this down, and I think we really delivered a significant blow this time around.” Houck said.
If people in the neighborhood cooperate, Houck said, the case will be solved sooner. He said some of the suspects were known to police before the shooting. Others, however, like Ford, are from out of the area.
According to an obituary, Jones had attended Phillipsburg High School, where he was an athlete. Along with playing basketball and running track, he was on the football team and was involved in Little League football, it said.