Arrest made in Coatesville murder

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Sheron "Ryda" Purnell

Sheron “Ryda” Purnell

COATESVILLE — Authorities announced they have made an arrest in a fatal October shooting, Wednesday.

Sheron “Ryda” Purnell, 22, has been charged in the Oct. 3 shooting death of Kevin Jalbert on 6th Avenue. He was arrested Nov. 2, according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan and city Police Chief Jack Laufer.

Authorities said that the shooting came after a dispute escalated in the residential neighborhood in the early evening hours. According to video footage and witness reports, police said that Jalbert got into a verbal dispute with a group of youths on 6th and Belmont — and the youths departed the scene.

Investigators said that Purnell then engaged in a confrontation with Jalbert — only verbal to start. As the two walked up White Alley, the dispute became physical, authorities said. Although Jalbert was unarmed, police said that Purnell pulled out a semi-automatic gun and fired multiple times at Jalbert, which sent a number of adult and juvenile witnesses off running.

“This homicide took place in a crowded residential area with children out playing in the street,” Hogan said. “The death of the victim was senseless. The defendant is lucky he did not also gun down an innocent child.”

Jalbert, a U.S. military veteran, was found by police lying on the grass and later died from his wounds.

“This type of violence is inexcusable,” Laufer said. “The good citizens of Coatesville are outraged by a daytime shooting that endangers children. The Coatesville Police Department will continue to work to reduce violence in the area.”

In the follow up investigation, police said they found eight .25 caliber shell casings at the scene and were able to speak with a number of witnesses. Four witnesses were able to identify Purnell, investigators said.

A warrant for Purnell’s arrest on murder charges was issued on Oct. 31 and he was taken into custody on Nov. 2. He was remanded to Chester County Prison without bail.

Anybody with additional information about the incident should contact Chester County Detective Kristin Lund at 610- 344-6866 or Coatesville Detective Ryan Wright at 610-384-2300.

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