NORRISTOWN — A Philadelphia man wanted for his alleged role in the Christmas Day 2012 gunshot slaying of a Norristown man was apprehended in the borough on Thursday after a pursuit during which he is accused of trying to strike a detective with a vehicle.
Rasheed Abdul Farrelle, 36, of the 4700 block of Penn Street, was arraigned via video before District Court Judge Scott Palladino on charges of first- and third-degree murder, conspiracy and person not to possess a firearm in connection with the alleged Dec. 25, 2012, fatal shooting of Paul Brown.
Prosecutors said Farrelle also was charged with aggravated and simple assault and recklessly endangering another person in connection with his alleged assault of a detective during Thursday’s pursuit.
Farrelle is being held at the county jail in Lower Providence without bail to await his April 21 preliminary hearing on the charges before District Court Judge Gregory Scott of Norristown.
Farrelle’s arrest was announced Friday by Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Norristown Police Chief Mark Talbot.
The homicide investigation began about 4:40 p.m. Dec. 25, 2012, when Norristown police responded to a report of a shooting in the rear of a residence in the 100 block of Wayne Avenue, according to a criminal complaint filed by county Detective Michael Crescitelli and Norristown Detective James Angelucci.
Arriving officers discovered Brown, 24, in the driver’s seat of a 1997 Buick Riviera and suffering multiple gunshot wounds, according to the arrest affidavit. Brown was pronounced dead at 5:50 p.m. at an area hospital.
A subsequent autopsy determined Brown died of multiple gunshot wounds and numerous fired projectiles were recovered from Brown’s body, court documents indicate.
Investigators recovered 18 fired 9mm shell casings near the Buick sedan and detectives determined the gunman fired at the victim “from a position outside of the passenger side door of the Buick sedan,” detectives alleged. Detectives also recovered video surveillance recordings in the area, according to court papers.
Court documents indicate detectives questioned Farrelle as early as Jan. 23, 2013, during the investigation. However no arrests were made at that time.
The investigation continued and authorities uncovered that on the date of the alleged fatal shooting, 13 text messages and nine phone calls were exchanged between Brown and Farrelle. The last outgoing call from Brown’s phone to Farrelle’s phone was at 4:35 p.m., minutes before the shooting, authorities alleged.
During the investigation, witnesses placed Farrelle in the area at the time of Brown’s killing and indicated that he was wearing a distinctive coat similar to one worn by a man seen in surveillance video obtained from the area of the fatal shooting, according to court documents.
In the criminal complaint, detectives said they have long believed that the murder of Brown was in retaliation for the Oct. 20, 2012, murder of Ryan “LR” Ladson. Detectives alleged in court papers that Brown was a suspect in Ladson’s murder at the time of his death and that Farrelle was a close associate of Ladson.
In March, detectives interviewed a witness who claimed that in the summer of 2013 and again in 2015, they heard Farrelle make admissions to killing Brown, according to the arrest affidavit.
A warrant was issued for Farrelle’s arrest on March 18 and on April 15 detectives conducted a stakeout near a Norristown residence where they believed Farrelle was staying, according to a news release issued by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Farrelle exited the apartment and eventually entered a vehicle. As detectives moved in and ordered Farrelle out of the car, Farrelle instead allegedly put the car in reverse, collided with a parked car, and then accelerated directly at a county detective, who had to take evasive action to avoid being struck, according to the district attorney’s news release.
Farrelle allegedly attempted to turn right onto New Hope Street but because of excessive speed, drove onto a sidewalk and into a yard in the 900 block of New Hope Street. Farrelle’s car collided with a pickup truck that was parked in a driveway and then struck a telephone pole and came to rest in a yard where Farrelle was taken into custody without further incident, authorities said.
County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Lloyd and co-prosecutor William Highland will prosecute the case.