It was the biggest mass killing in the city's history. But that doesn't begin to tell the story of what happened that night in West Philadelphia.
"The boy Jermel, I just started seeing him last summer," says a former dealer familiar with the neighborhood drug trade. "That's how it is down there. People just come and just start acting like they from down there."
"When George's crew first started," says a neighborhood source who asked not to be identified, "it was George Porter, curly-haired Tyrone [not Tyrone Long], Jermel Lewis and Malik Harris."
Though George Porter and Jermel Lewis had a falling out and stopped selling drugs together, it seemed they had remained friends.
"George branched out," the former dealer says. "George had his own little clique--the young boys. George had the young boys from around there. They had just started seeing a little bit of money from the dope game, for real for real."
They saw so much money that, when Jermel Lewis was arrested for allegedly assaulting his own sister a few days before the Lex Street shootings, he called Porter to bail him out.
As George Porter's crew became more successful, tension increased. Maynard, whose disdain for Porter was well known, had several altercations with him.
Shawn Crews, another neighborhood dealer who police say was close with Maynard, had a crew of his own. Jermel Lewis, Hezekiah Thomas and Quiante Perrin were allegedly linked to his group.
Porter's crew eventually set up shop at the house on Lex Street. Though police say they received only one 911 call for the Lex Street house in the previous year, a 16th District officer who spoke anonymously says the district had received complaints about the house that they had not yet investigated.
During the last two weeks of December, Porter's crew began to outsell the competition by using lookouts to intercept drug buyers.
"They was cutting too many people off," says the former dealer. "It wasn't that many people, but just down there, people getting cut off and drug dealers see they pocket getting light ... they get jealous."
In addition to cutting customers off from the other dealers, Porter sold his product at half-price, undercutting his competitors.
"A lot of people in the neighborhood were mad at George Porter for a lot of reasons," says Deputy Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson.
"It was about money and George whole attitude," says the former dealer. "George was arrogant. It was just everything--a lot of stuff."
On Dec. 27, his mother says, CJ Helton enrolled in the now-defunct Computer Learning Center.
That night, Guy Long came home and spent the night at his mother's house. "I guess that was God's way of bringing him back to me one more time," she says.
The next morning, Yvette Long's boyfriend, Alfred "Bobby" Goodwin, a truck driver who served as co-captain of his South Philadelphia block, went to work. He called his wife at her job that afternoon.
"If Bobby was here now, he would have been outside helping people shovel out their cars [from the snow]," says Lisa Nelson, Goodwin's cousin. "He was that type of person--always helpful."
At 2 o'clock on the day of the shootings, Veronica Conyers received a call from her son, CJ Helton, at her job. He told her he was going to West Philly.
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