Charged 16-year-old Released after Further Investigation Declares Him Not Guilty in Fatal January Shooting

By Praniti Gulyani 

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Sixteen-year-old Zaire Wilson was charged with the fatal shooting of Tyshaun Welles, also 16, this past January in the Market-Frankford station—but now the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has announced Wilson’s charges have been dismissed. 

“Zaire Wilson was arrested shortly after a police alert was issued about the shooting. Defendant Quadir Humphrey, 18, was arrested separately on scene by SEPTA [Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority] Police shortly after the shooting,” explained the DA’s Office in a statement last week. 

The press release goes on to describe further investigation where a “SEPTA surveillance video and additional information later obtained by investigators indicated that Humphrey acted alone on Jan. 11 when he allegedly began firing into a crowd of mostly young people, striking Welles, on the platform of the 15th Street station. After the shooting, Tyshaun Welles succumbed to his injuries on Jan. 16, 2024. 

Post the investigation, the press release describes how, on Feb 28, “the DA’s Office…requested a hearing before the Hon. Joffie Pittman, who granted a hearing the following morning,” where the DA “withdrew all charges against Wilson and Judge Pittman approved an order for Wilson to be immediately released from custody.”

As per a statement given by District Attorney Larry Krasner, “After an ongoing investigation made clear that a 16-year-old was in custody for a crime he did not commit, Assistant District Attorney Anthony Voci acted quickly to alert DA’s Office supervisors, Municipal Court leadership, and the Juvenile Justice Services Center to ensure that Zaire Wilson was released and reunited with his family within 36 hours.” 

Expressing his support towards Wilson’s instant  release and emphasizing how the movement of the criminal legal system must occur in a manner that is directed towards the acquiring of justice,  Krasner added, “When presented with evolving or new information, the criminal legal system should move as quickly in the interest of justice—whether that means being prepared to meet the Commonwealth’s burden at trial or releasing from detention people who did not actually participate in a crime.”

About The Author

Praniti Gulyani is a second-year student at UC Berkeley majoring in English with minor(s) in Creative Writing and Journalism. During her time at The Davis Vanguard as a Court Watch Intern and Opinion(s) Columnist for her weekly column, ‘The Student Vanguard' within the organization, she hopes to create content that brings the attention of the general reader to everyday injustice issues that need to be addressed immediately. After college, she hopes to work as a writer or a columnist in a newspaper or magazine, using the skills that she gains during her time at The Davis Vanguard to reach a wider audience.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for