Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw announced that a 24-year-old Bensalem, Pa., man was convicted of murder and weapons charges today for fatally shooting a teenager at a Willingboro Township gas station during the summer of 2021.
The jury deliberated for approximately eight hours over two days before finding Tamir Phillips guilty of Murder (First Degree), Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Second Degree) and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree). The Hon. Gerard H. Breland, J.S.C., scheduled sentencing for January 5, 2024.
The investigation began the afternoon of August 21, 2021, when Willingboro Township police officers were called to the Phillips 66 gas station in the first block of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive for a report of a shooting.
Upon arrival, they learned that the victim, 14-year-old Jesse Everett of Willingboro, had been transported in a private vehicle to Virtua Willingboro Hospital. He was then airlifted to Cooper University Medical Center in Camden, where he was pronounced dead at 5:24 p.m.
Phillips, who was known to stay in Willingboro, was immediately identified as a suspect in the shooting, and charges were filed against him the next day.
The investigation revealed that a day before the shooting, the owner of a 2014 Honda Civic had contacted township police to report that the vehicle had been stolen. It was determined that the owner of the Civic would frequently allow Phillips to use the car.
The investigation further revealed that just prior to the shooting, Phillips was riding in a vehicle when the stolen car was spotted at the pumps of the gas station.
The driver pulled into the gas station and came to a stop behind the Civic, which was being driven by Everett. Phillips exited and went to the driver’s side of the Civic, where he confronted Everett before firing a single shot into the vehicle, striking him in the head. Two other people were inside the car with Everett, but did not sustain injuries.
Phillips was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutors Matthew R. Jaxheimer and Stephen Bondi. The investigation was conducted by the Willingboro Township Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. The lead investigators were WTPD Detective James Benedict and BCPO Detective Sgt. Dan Schules.