Philadelphia police arrested a suspect Sunday in connection with the shooting of a 56-year-old Yorktown woman the morning of Jan. 13 at the corner of 12th and Jefferson streets.
Kim Jones, director of the Families and Schools Together Program of Turning Points for Children – an organization devoted to assisting abused and economically disadvantaged children – was waiting for the No. 23 SEPTA bus when Randolph Sanders, an assistant director who she hired two years ago, allegedly killed her with a shot in the back of her head, police said.
Sanders, 36, of Northeast Philadelphia, confessed to murder Sunday after his arrest, which followed a round-the-clock investigation that spanned three weeks and required combing through hours of video footage, Homicide Captain James Clark said in an interview Monday. Sanders is now in police custody.
Public Affairs Officer Tanya Little said Sanders believed Jones was going to report him for allegedly misappropriating $40,000 in funds from the organization.
Dressed in dark clothing and covering up his face, Sanders could be seen walking past Morgan Hall and down into the Broad Street Line Cecil B. Moore subway stop, making a point not to look at surveillance cameras. Police could track him as far as the Hunting Park station initially, Clark said, but further review of footage traced him through the neighborhood until the suspect was seen enter a silver GMC Yukon.
After learning that Sanders owned that model of vehicle, police took him in for questioning and he gave a full confession, Clark said.
Sanders had made statements to 6ABC about Jones, and shook her son Andre Jourden’s hand at Jones’ funeral, according to a philly.com report.
Sanders was arraigned at 12:16 a.m. Monday, according to his court docket, and awaits preliminary court proceedings that will begin Feb. 18 with a court-appointed attorney.
Turning Points for Children CEO Mike Vogel released a statement on the incident.
“We are both shocked and saddened by this news,” Vogel said. He noted that the organization is working with a private investigator to reinforce its belief that it was an isolated case, and that the organization has been communicating with its funders. He also thanked the police for their work in finding the suspected killer.
“This is a very difficult situation for everyone involved and we appreciate all of the words of support from friends, family and supporters,” Vogel said. “In addition, we want to thank the staff of Turning Points for Children for the hard and important work that they do every day. Despite this terrible situation, our amazing staff continues to do their job and to make an impact on the thousands of people they serve.”
Residents and students mourned Jones, a mother of two and newlywed, at a vigil on Jan. 16. Jourden, Jones’ son, gave a statement to reporters afterward.
“My mother was a great person and she deserved a lot better than this,” he said. “She was 100 percent selfless. Her life was helping other people. She dedicated her life to that. She worked hard at Turning Points for Children, but she worked just as hard in the church soup kitchen … It was her passion.”
Joe Brandt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org