After a long 26 hours, murder suspect Samuel Boler is finally in custody. Philadelphia police have been searching for Boler since Danny Peden was shot to death Thursday night.
"Samuel Boler turned himself in to Mississippi Highway Patrol in Meridian without incident, and he's now been charged with murder," Philadelphia Police Chief Grant Myers says.
Boler's family says they'd been begging him to turn himself in to authorities as soon as they heard about the tragedy.
"It's been a struggle. Reality had to set in with him," Boler's step-mom Balencigia McClendon says. "I talked with him. Do the right thing, turn yourself in. That's the best to do, turn yourself in. I think it pretty much got to him with my talking and other members telling him to turn himself in and do the right thing."
But the decision wasn't an easy one. Boler's aunt says she picked him up Friday to help him turn himself over to authorities. She's asked Newscenter 11 not to show her face during this interview, but she talks about how he struggled with the decision for hours while she drove him around. She says they were on their way to the Philadelphia Police Dept. when they were intercepted by the Highway Patrol, and Boler turned himself in.
"He's had panic attack after panic attack," Jamika Brown says. "He's just constant asking for forgiveness. He says it was not on purpose. It was an accident."
Boler's aunt says he told her he acted instinctively when he shot Peden. . . That he simply saw someone running at him with a gun, and he shot first.
"When I got the call from my sister telling me that, I was devastated," Boler's aunt Kensley Brown says. "But I knew it had to be something because I would never think he would take someone else's life."
His family says this tragedy has been even harder since Peden was a close friend, but they feel more at peace knowing Boler is now incarcerated.