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West Philly gang member ‘Pistol P’ pleads guilty to shooting 9 people, killing 3, in 2021

A friend and neighbor writes on the sidewalk after a balloon release in memory of Sircarr Johnson Jr. on July 7, 2021, on 60th Street, outside Johnson's store Premiere Bande in Philadelphia. (Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

None of the people Anthony Lacey-Woodson admitted to killing in a ruthless West Philadelphia gang feud were his intended targets.

First, there was young Antonio Walker Jr., a 15-year-old who was walking to play basketball with his cousin when Lacey-Woodson shot him multiple times.

Then, four months later, on the night of July 4, there was Sircarr Johnson Jr., 24, and Salahaldin Mahmoud, 21. The two were attending a barbeque cookout at Johnson’s West Philadelphia clothing store when Lacey-Woodson and three others fired more than 100 bullets into the party, killing the two young men and injuring two women.

Pamela Owensby holds photos of her son Sircarr Johnson Jr., who was shot and killed outside his clothing store on 60th Street in July 2021. (Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

On Monday, nearly three years after the bloodshed, Lacey-Woodson pleaded guilty to over a dozen crimes for his part in those killings as well as four other shootings in 2021. In all, he admitted to shooting nine people over seven months in that year.

Lacey-Woodson, better known as “Pistol P,” was a member of 02da4, a gang from the 60th and 64th Streets in West Philadelphia. Prosecutors said he and others in the group would drive through the neighborhood on the hunt for members of a rival crew 524 — affiliated with 52nd and 54th Streets in Kingsessing — leaving a trail of trauma in their wake.

Prosecutors say the back-and-forth between the gangs left more than 53 people shot, including 16 dead, in less than a year. More than half of the victims were bystanders who had nothing to do with the feud, said Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Palmer, who prosecuted the case.

Palmer said the dispute between the groups began in December 2020 after Lacey-Woodson’s uncle, Frank “Tooley” Smith, was shot and killed alongside 15-year-old Saabir “Booka” Mack.

02da4 blamed 524 for Smith and Mack’s deaths, Palmer said, and sought revenge.

Within just two weeks of Smith and Mack’s deaths, Lacey-Woodson and his associates straw-purchased a series of guns to begin their quest for payback.

First, new guns in hand on the night of Jan. 16, 2021, he and others shot up a birthday party on the 3800 block of Parrish Street, where they thought a 524 member was hanging out. Instead, a 34-year-old woman was struck in the arm.

Then, around 7 p.m. on March 9, Lacey-Woodson and two others drove to 52nd and Pentridge Streets in search of another rival. Instead, they found Walker, the 15-year-old student at Freire Charter High School, walking with his cousin. They shot him multiple times, laughing as they drove away, Palmer said. They killed the teen for no reason other than that he was on the wrong block at the wrong time, he said, and Lacey-Woodson was angry.

Finally, the night of July 4, Lacey-Woodson and others shot seven people within just a two-hour span. They first shot two people at 1600 South 54th Street, then about 90 minutes later, they shot another man at 60th and Walton Streets.

Seven minutes later, they drove to the block party at 60th and Sansom, where they thought another 524 member was hanging out, and unleashed more gunfire. Yet again, none of those struck was the intended target.

Who else from 02da4 has been arrested?

In October, Jalen “Skip” Mickens pleaded guilty to the string of July 4 shootings, including the murders of Johnson and Mahmoud. He was sentenced to up to 50 years in jail.

Nasir “Jefe” Wells has also been charged in the death of Walker, the teenager. He had been on the run for more than a year, but was arrested last month.

Lacey-Woodson, now 21, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of third-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated assault, and related crimes. He also pleaded guilty to multiple illegal gun possession crimes.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in September. His attorney, George Yacoubian, said Lacey-Woodson had planned to accept responsibility for his actions from the beginning.

Palmer, the prosecutor, called him “a selfish and brutal killer” who stole the lives of “three Philadelphians who had so much to live for an potential to give back” to their friends, family, and city.

“He deserves to live in state prison,” Palmer said.

The victims’ families on Monday said the same.

Nydisha Williams, Walker’s mother, said she and her family felt revictimized sitting next to Lacey-Woodson’s relatives in the courtroom as prosecutors detailed the crimes.

“There is no support for us as victims,” said Kristal Bush, a family member. “We are left as a community to console each other.”

Bush said her family, who set up a foundation in honor of Walker to support young people going to college, has also thought about the conditions in Lacey-Woodson’s life that led him to pick up a gun.

“You were just a kid, too,” she said of the killer. “Somewhere along the line, someone failed you, too.”


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