Police arrest Khalil Henderson, wanted for the murder of Najee Rivera
A man wanted in connection with the 2015 shooting of Najee Rivera was arrested Friday by the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) on unrelated charges.
Khalil Henderson, 22, was arrested for murder, gun charges, illegal possession of a firearm, and possessing an instrument of crime on April 23 at 4 a.m., according to PPD detective Brian Peters. PhillysMostWanted.org, a website which receives direct information from local law enforcement, confirms the man’s arrest.
Henderson has been on the most wanted list since March, when police added him after months of advocacy in the neighborhood. Anonymous witness tips helped police identify Henderson as a key suspect.
Rivera's mother, Violetta, celebrated her birthday on April 25 by receiving the news that the man wanted by police in connection with the killing of her oldest son, had been arrested.
Also relieved by the news was Dina Scannapieco, Rivera's girlfriend.
“I’m so happy,” she said. “I feel like I can have a good night sleep now."
Scannapieco claimed Henderson directed threats at her family on social media.
"He had messaged me on Facebook two weeks ago and said he was going to kill my daughter next,” she said. “Now I feel that my daughter is not in harm’s way.”
Rivera’s case came into the spotlight in 2013, when he received serious bodily injuries while being arrested in Fairhill during a traffic stop. Controversial surveillance footage later surfaced that allegedly shows police officers Sean McKnight and Kevin Robinson beating him.
As a result, the police officers were indicted on a range of charges including aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, and obstruction of administration of law.
After reviewing the evidence of the case — including the controversial video — a jury acquitted Robinson and McKnight of any wrongdoing on April 11th.
In 2013 Rivera was charged with aggression against police officers. Those charges were eventually dismissed once the video surfaced.
Rivera’s injuries cost him his job at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. On December 5th, after allegedly trying to break up a fight near C and Somerset streets, Rivera was shot. Two weeks later, he died of the injuries he received.