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.
What Hughes didn't know was that Jermel Lewis, the man who would later confess to the Lex Street murders, was in the room that night with Quiante Perrin, an alleged accomplice.
Perrin addressed the gathering. He expressed dismay about the plight of young children in the community who had trouble reading.
Hughes asked him if he would be willing to tutor those children. Perrin said yes. Then Hughes directed him to speak with a teacher who would help him do it.
"See that man over there?" Hughes told Perrin. "As soon as you leave that microphone, I want you to talk to him."
But Perrin never got the chance to tutor neighborhood children.
On Jan. 12, a visibly shaken Cynthia Jordan stood in the parking lot of police headquarters, nervously awaiting news about her son.
"They arrested my son 7 o'clock this morning," she told reporters. "They came to my house kicking on the door and saying it was the SWAT team. They ran all up in there and had us all in the living room, looking for Quiante. I told them he was upstairs, and they went up there and they searched and everything."
That same day, police also executed warrants for Hezekiah Thomas, Jermel Lewis and Sacon Youk.
Lewis and Youk were charged with murder, burglary, aggravated assault and related offenses. Thomas and Perrin were charged with drug and weapons offenses.
"He's innocent," Cynthia Jordan said of her son. "I know he is. He knew them kids. He grew up with them. Ain't no way. They just lookin' for somebody to blame this shit on. Fifty thousand dollars--anybody gonna talk and say who did it. Why they ain't talk before? They know who did it."
On the other side of the lot, Joseph Porter II, a cousin of victim George Porter, was in shock.
"My cousin, he fought with them, beside them, and they did him like that," Joseph Porter said.
Asked what the shooters' punishment should be, he said, "Death penalty. Give it to 'em."
On Feb. 8, police charged Hezekiah Thomas with attempted murder in an unrelated shooting. They were trying to keep him jailed in connection with the Lex Street murders.
Relatives of the victims worry that Thomas and Perrin, who have not been charged with murder in the Lex Street shootings, may be released. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 1.
Police say their investigation of the Lex Street murders is continuing. They can't make more arrests without probable cause, they say, because the D.A. would be unable to obtain convictions.
They say witnesses must come forward. But the community has been hesitant.
Many are still coming to grips with painful realities.
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