The discovery of a hidden drug stash led to the execution killing of a teenage girl and three adults in the basement of a Southwest Philadelphia home, police said.
Philadelphia police on Thursday implicated three men in the fatal Thanksgiving week shooting that shocked the community and veteran police officers.
Jahlil Porter, 32, is charged with four counts of murder and related offenses in the deaths of Maurice Taylor, 31; Taylor's half-brother 28-year-old Akeem Mattox; Tiyaniah Hopkins, 20; and 17-year-old Yaleah Hall.
Charges are pending against two other men who police did not name at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Ross called the men "very violent, vicious individuals."
Taylor and Mattox were renovating the home where they were killed. Homicide Capt. John Ryan said the men discovered illegal drugs hidden in either that home or another property they were renovating.
The men apparently tried to broker a deal with Porter and the others to sell the drugs back. Ryan said the suspects were planning to rob the victims, but it escalated into an execution.
"It was terrible. They were all laid on the ground and they were basically executed," the captain said.
All four victims were shot in the head. At least one victim knew one of the accused, Ryan said.
The female victims, Hopkins and Hall, weren't aware of the drug sell-back and became innocent bystanders, according to Ryan.
The night of the killings a neighbor heard loud bangs, but didn't call police because they thought it was construction work, police said. Investigators believe those sounds were the fatal gunshots.
A portion of the drug stash has been recovered.
Porter was arrested Wednesday and held without bail, according to court records and police. The public defender's office hasn't replied to NBC10's request for comment on Porter's behalf.
The other two suspects were taken into custody Thursday, police said.
CORRECTION (Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018 4:35 p.m.): Police initially provided an incorrect spelling for Jahlil Porter's first name.