2nd man arrested in slaying of West Philly community activist Winnie Harris

Isaiah Reels (left), 31, was arrested Thursday in connection with the February shooting death of West Philadelphia community activist Winnie Harris. Nelson Giddings, 39, was arrested on Oct. 9.

A second suspect in the February shooting death of West Philadelphia community activist Winnie Harris was arrested Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

Isaiah Reels, 31, was arrested about 2:30 p.m. at his girlfriend’s residence on the 6500 block of Allman Street in Southwest Philadelphia by members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and police homicide detectives, said Robert Clark, supervisor of the Marshals task force in Philadelphia.

Camera icon U.S. Marshals Service
Arrested: Isaiah Reels

“He was in the company of his baby’s mother and was arrested inside the residence without incident,” Clark said. Reels’ last known address was the unit block of North Edgewood Street, near 60th and Arch Streets in West Philadelphia.

Homicide Capt. John Ryan said Reels was expected to be charged with murder, conspiracy, and related offenses in Harris’ death.

Harris, 65, was the acting executive director and longtime volunteer coordinator at UC Green, a nonprofit group that plants and tends trees. She was found shot to death about 8:20 p.m. Feb. 3 in the second-floor bedroom of her home, where she lived alone.

Ryan has said that the two men who broke into her house on the 300 block of North Holly Street in Powelton went into “the wrong house.”

“They apparently killed Ms. Harris in cold blood. It was completely unnecessary,” he has said. He has declined to elaborate on whom the men had intended to target and why.

On Oct. 9, another man, Nelson Giddings, 39, of the 2000 block of West Stella Street in North Philadelphia, was arrested and charged with murder, robbery, burglary, conspiracy, and weapons offenses in Harris’ death. He is believed to have been the gunman who shot Harris several times.

Camera icon Philadelphia Police
Previously arrested: Nelson Giddings

Giddings, who had been in custody in Delaware County prison since an April 13 arrest on an unrelated burglary case, faces a Nov. 29 preliminary hearing in the slaying.

According to court documents, authorities believe the two men fled from Harris’ home  about 1:10 a.m. Feb. 2, 2017. Police were called to the home the next night after neighbors and family wanted to check on her well-being. Upon arrival, officers found Harris lying on her second-floor front bedroom floor suffering from several gunshot wounds.

Camera icon Courtesy of family
Winnie Harris was a beloved community activist.