Friday, police said that Kylen Pratt, the North Philadelphia man who shot and set on fire a man in February, did so to stop the victim from disclosing that they had an intimate connection, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
20-year-old Pratt of the 2900 block of Oxford Street has been charged with murder and related offenses in connection with the death of 20-year-old Naasire Johnson, who was shot in the neck and had his remnants set on fire.
20 February, Fairmount Park police discovered Johnson’s burned body on a cobblestone trail near Brewery Hill and Kelly Drive.
Capt. Jason Smith of the homicide division stated on Friday that cell phone records were crucial in determining the motive for Johnson’s death. According to him, the evidence pointed to Pratt, who dated both men and women and murdered Johnson to prevent him from disclosing their relationship.
Johnson, who was openly gay, was last seen on the evening of February 17, according to his grandmother, Cynthia Johnson, who raised him from the age of one.
She mentioned that her grandson called Uber and left the family’s West Philadelphia residence that night. She did not know where he was heading, but she reported him missing the following day when he did not come back.
She stated that on that day, a friend of her grandson informed her that he had been in a relationship with a man named 29th Street Rich. Cynthia Johnson found out later that was Pratt’s nickname, she said.
She stated that a detective informed her that her grandson’s cell phone last rang on February 18 at 12:20 a.m. in the 2900 block of Oxford Street, where Pratt resides.
The police believe Pratt shot and killed Johnson at his residence before moving his body to a trail in Fairmount Park and setting it ablaze.