2 more men charged with murder of Philly Police Sgt. James O’Connor

Cpl. James O'Connor
Photo credit Philadelphia Police Department
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Two more men have been charged with the murder of Philadelphia SWAT Sgt. James O’Connor, who was killed more than a month ago while serving a homicide warrant.

On March 13, O’Connor and seven other SWAT officers went to serve the warrant to Hassan Elliott for the murder of another man, Tyree Tyrone. Police say Hassan then shot and killed 46-year-old O’Connor.

Khalif Sears and Bilal Mitchell, who were in the house, were also taken into custody that day.

But Anthony Voci, homicide supervisor for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, said 19-year-old Mitchell and 18-year-old Sears are just as culpable.

“Other individuals can and should be held responsible for the criminal conduct of another person if they contributed to that crime in a meaningful way — if they took a substantial step or if they performed some overt act,” he explained.

Voci said the two men were part of a street gang, who helped hide Elliott while he was wanted for the Tyrone murder, back in March 2019.

“They conducted a lot of illegal activity that supported each other, including the hindrance of apprehension of Sears and Elliot while they were on the run for more than a year,” he said.

Voci said his office has tied enough evidence together to charge the two men.

“Both witnesses who wanted to speak formally and informally — both on the record and off the record — we put together enough evidence that would warrant additional charges,” he said.

Sears and Mitchell also face seven counts of attempted murder, as well as gun offenses.

“These defendants should have never been on the street, and that lead to the murder of a Philadelphia hero,” said Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 President John McNesby. “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the entire O’Connor family and the men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department as they seek justice for this unspeakable homicide.”

Authorities say the investigation is still considered active.