PATERSON — The man arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a DoorDash deliverywoman was previously found guilty of killing a restaurant worker in Freehold in 2002.

Quadir Whitaker was charged  Monday with murder and weapons offenses in the Oct. 4 slaying of Petra Rhoden, according to Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes.

Prosecutors say Whitaker was the driver of the vehicle that assisted a male shooter who approached Rhoden from behind in an ambush while she was making a delivery.

The 43-year-old Paterson woman got into her car after being shot and drove off but ultimately rammed through a fence and crashed into a shed.

Prosecutors said the shooter got back into Whitaker's car and drove off.

Authorities have not said whether they know a motive for the shooting of Rhoden or how the 34-year-old East Orange man became a suspect. It wasn't known Tuesday if he's retained an attorney.

Whitaker was charged with first-degree murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon, certain persons not to possess firearms and resisting arrest.

Prosecutors have not announced other arrests.

Whitaker is at the Passaic County Jail pending a detention hear yet to be scheduled.

A 13-year-old boy identified by his family as K'Zure Cradle was shot in his yard two days later. Prosecutors said the two incidents are not related.

Whitaker was charged as an accomplice in the December 2002 killing of Seth Mejia-Hernandez in front of a Freehold restaurant. He was found guilty in 2004 but the verdict was overturned by the state Supreme Court, which ordered a new trial. In 2010, Whitaker pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery in fatal incident and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


Petra Rhoden (Andrew Rhoden via Facebook)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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