Another child sacrificed

Khynief Hatchett, 8, was caught in the crossfire of what police labeled a ‘domestic dispute’ two weeks ago. He succumbed to his wounds on Monday, and the suspected shooter was charged with murder.

The 8-year-old boy who was shot in the head Sept. 7 while riding in his father’s SUV has died.

Khynief Hatchett, of the 1600 block of South 22nd Street, succumbed to his injuries Monday night at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, police said.

On Sept. 8, investigators arrested Ronald Burris, 29, from the 1300 block of Catharine Street, and charged him with attempted murder and related offenses, said Sgt. James Schrack of South Detective Division.

The charge was upgraded to murder earlier this week, police said.

The suspect was allegedly gunning for the victim’s father, Karl Hatchett — who had a previous relationship with a woman, now pregnant, whom Burris was seeing, Schrack said.

Khynief was riding in the backseat of his father’s Chevy Tahoe around 9:30 p.m. when Burris spotted the vehicle at Broad and Catharine and pursued them to the 1600 block of Catharine, the sergeant said.

Burris allegedly fired two to three rounds at the Tahoe — one of which entered the back of the vehicle and struck the child in the left temple, Schrack said.

The suspect’s preliminary hearing Tuesday morning was continued in light of the upgraded charges.

One dead in double shooting

Investigators continue to hunt for the three suspects wanted in connection with a double shooting at Sixth and Mercy streets that left one man dead and another seriously wounded.

Lorenzo Britt, 19, of the 2000 block of Gerritt Street, was pronounced dead at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital at 10:45 p.m. Sunday, said Capt. Charles Bloom of the Homicide Division.

Ninety minutes earlier, three men in a car began circling Britt and his 18-year-old friend, from the 2000 block of South Fifth Street, who were hanging out on the corner with their bicycles, the captain said.

The driver pulled over and parked, at which time the two other males exited the car, Bloom said. Sensing something was up, Britt and his friend took off on their bikes — only to be gunned down as they rode past the shooters, said the captain.

Investigators believe a neighborhood dispute earlier that week sparked the confrontation.

To report information, call the Homicide Division at 215-686-3334/35.

Man found dead in car

Seventeenth District officers responding to a report of gunfire early Sunday found a man slumped in the driver’s seat of a 1997 Nissan, police said.

Leroy Reddick, 58, of the 1900 block of South 17th Street, was taken to Jefferson University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4 a.m., said Capt. Charles Bloom of the Homicide Division.

Reddick had been shot multiple times in the left side of his face and upper body on the 1700 block of South 18th Street, added the captain.

Police recovered an unknown substance — believed to be narcotics — from the victim, as well as five .45-caliber shells at the scene, Bloom said.

To report information, call the Homicide Division at 215-686-3334/3335.

Local clues help solve murder

Evidence found in a South Philly hotel trash bin enabled homicide investigators to crack a macabre week-old case — and apprehend a murder suspect.

The charred and unrecognizable body of Claire Clay, 25, of Broomall, Delaware County, was found Sept. 7 behind a storage trailer at Montgomery and Horticulture drives in West Fairmount Park, said Capt. Charles Bloom of the Homicide Division.

Dental records were used to identify the former Catholic schoolteacher, who performed as a backup singer at area clubs, the captain added.

Days after the gruesome discovery, authorities released a police sketch of the victim.

Then, last weekend, a maintenance worker at the Holiday Inn at 10th Street and Packer Avenue found the victim’s driver’s license and passport in a garbage can outside the hotel, Bloom confirmed. The worker thought the photos resembled the police artist sketch so he phoned authorities.

On Tuesday, police arrested Benjamin Cooper, 19, of the 1900 block of West Sparks Street, and charged him with murder, robbery and abuse of a corpse, said Capt. Richard Ross of the Homicide Division.

Police believe Cooper strangled Clay at a West Oak Lane residence — authorities declined to release the address, although the suspect resides in the area– and then dumped her body in the park, where he torched it with an accelerant.

Cooper and Clay were both hoping for a career in the music business; detectives believe their relationship was likely personal as well. As of yesterday, no motive had been given for Clay’s slaying.

Officer fires at pit bull

A 17th District police officer opened fire on a pit bull that charged at him while he and his partner were making an arrest at a boarding house, officials said. The gunfire apparently frightened the canine, which retreated into a closet, said a detective who was on the scene.

The incident happened shortly after 8 p.m. Friday on the 1800 block of Wharton Street, 17th District Capt. Jerrold Bates said.

In the mayhem, police managed to cuff John Mattey, 28, and charged him with the aggravated assault of his 42-year-old male neighbor, whom he allegedly attacked around 6:30 that evening, Bates said.

The officer discharged his weapon once during the incident, the captain added. As per police routine, he has since been assigned to administrative duty, pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation, Bates said.

‘Pizzaman’ robs bank

After pulling off a $2,000 heist, a bandit discarded the bag containing a dye pack — but kept the cash as he made his escape.

The culprit entered Prudential Bank at 1722 S. Broad St. around 9 a.m. and handed a 21-year-old teller a demand note that read, "Stay alive and be quick," said Sgt. Steve Biello of South Detectives.

As the teller was turning over the cash, the robber allegedly whispered, "Remember Pizzaman? That was me," the sergeant said.

Investigators said they do not know what, if any, significance the nickname has in relation to the holdup. However, last month in Erie, a pizza deliveryman robbed a bank wearing a bomb around his neck. Once apprehended, he told police he was forced to rob the bank by the person who strapped the bomb to him. Soon after, the bomb exploded, killing the man.

The FBI is investigating the local case.

Nabbed in serial burglaries

Third District officers hit the jackpot when they nabbed a man shortly after he allegedly burglarized a home on Sept. 6.

Turns out the suspect had a packet of crack cocaine on him and later admitted to almost a dozen Queen Village and Bella Vista burglaries over the past couple of months, officials said.

Richard Moore, 29, from the 900 block of South Fifth Street, was charged with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and related offenses, as well as a narcotics charge, said Sgt. Steve Biello of South Detectives.

Around 3:15 p.m. on Sept. 6, officers responded to a burglary in progress on the 500 block of Montrose Street, the sergeant said. Police stopped a man in the area, whom the victim positively identified, Biello said.

Detectives say Moore is responsible for burglaries on the 900 block of South Fifth Street, 200 block of Christian, 800 block of South Hancock, 600 block of Catharine, 600 block of Fulton, 900 block of East Passyunk Avenue, 700 block of South Sixth Street, 800 block of South Howard and the unit block of Christian.

To combat the recent trend of burglaries in the Third District, Capt. Mike Weaver told the Review he has assigned five officers to patrol between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., since many of the incidents occurred in the early morning hours.