A suspect has been charged in the murder of a 2-year-old toddler in her Philadelphia home over the weekend.

Police announced Tuesday night, Oct. 22, that the suspect had been taken into custody in Chester, Pennsylvania, according to WCAU.

He was identified as Freddie Perez, of Chester, Delaware County. Police are still working to identify a second suspect.

Philadelphia police served a warrant at Perez’s home. Sources said bags of evidence were taken from the residence, but it was not clear exactly what was found, WPVI-TV reported.

The shooting began at around 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, inside a home on North Water Street in North Philadelphia.

The shooter opened fire with an assault rifle on the house from outside, hitting 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera in the back of the head, according to police. The toddler died in her mother’s arms at the scene.

Nikolette’s mother was also shot once in the back and once in the right side of the head. The 24-year-old is expected to survive.

Police said a 33-year-old man, a contractor who was cleaning carpets inside the home, was also shot in the stomach. The man is listed in critical but stable condition at this time.

It was unclear if Perez was the shooter. But Philadelphia acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter believed he was one of the two people responsible for Nikolette’s death.

Police believed the shooting stemmed from a dispute with the child’s father, Coulter said. It was likely drug-related, but police said the house was targeted.

Surveillance video, which was obtained by police helped them track down Perez. Coulter said tips also helped and they are looking for more tips to find the second suspect.

The city offered $30,000 rewards for an arrest in the shooting.

Join our program