PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Philadelphia police have identified the suspect wanted in a hit-and-run that injured three children and a man in West Philadelphia last month.
Police have issued an arrest warrant for 53-year-old Andre Shuford of E. Venango Street. He is described as a black male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 210 pounds, with brown eyes and balding. He has been known to frequent the 1800 block of W. Venango Street and the 800 block of E. Cornwall Street.
Investigators say Shuford was behind the wheel of a van that struck Shaheed Richberg and three children as they attempted to cross the street at approximately 11:54 a.m. on Friday, September 2.
Richberg had just picked up the two girls and one boy, ages 5, 3, and 1, from daycare at 56th Street and Vine Street.
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Elsie Johnson, the girls’ aunt and Richberg’s friend, spoke to Action News days after the hit-and-run.
“Shaheed is still in the hospital, both his legs are broken and his hip, so he can’t move at all,” Johnson said.
Richberg told Johnson he was trying to shield the children.
“He told me when they were crossing the street he saw the truck coming and he knew he wasn’t going to dodge in time so he tried to take the hit for them so they wouldn’t get hurt,” Johnson said.
Investigators said Shuford abandoned the truck at 53rd and Race Streets and set off on foot after the accident.
The vehicle owner cooperated with the police. He was able to tell officers the suspect was a day laborer he only knew as “Dre.”
The vehicle owner told police the suspect stole the vehicle while waiting for his truck to be repaired.
Action News was at the homes of some of the victims Monday, where a prayer service was held with Pastor Donald Moore of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.
Elsie Johnson is the injured young girls’ aunt.
Five-year-old Divinity was critically injured and remains at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. Her three-year-old sister Essence and a one-year-old boy traveling with her suffered minor injuries.
Shaheed Richberg returned home on Monday after a month in hospital, but it will be at least a year before he can walk like he used to.
He said he did what anyone in his position would have done and now he wants the perpetrator caught.
“Come on, brother. Like I said, if it were just me – be it so, I get it. But the children, how do you leave these children like that and don’t check if everyone is okay? I don’t want street justice for my nieces. I want justice because I want him to answer for what he did,” Richberg said.
Johnson said her niece, who remains hospitalized, is showing improvement and they hope to celebrate her sixth birthday in hospital on October 29.
Anyone with information on Shuford’s whereabouts should contact the Accident Investigation District at 215-685-3180/3181.
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https://6abc.com/west-philadelphia-hit-and-run-56th-street-vine-children-injured/12290943/ West Philadelphia Hit-and-Run: Police ID suspect who injured 3 children, man walking from Vine Street day care