Erie teen shot dies at Pittsburgh hospital; youngster stays in custody

The 13-year-old accused in case was charged as a juvenile with aggravated assault before victim’s death. If charged with homicide, he would be the youngest person in Erie ever to face that charge.


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A 16-year-old boy shot in the head inside an east Erie residence on July 16 has died, according to authorities.

The boy, whose name has not been released, died at a Pittsburgh hospital on Thursday afternoon, Erie police Deputy Chief Rick Lorah said Monday. Police were notified of the boy’s death on Friday, he said.

Police reported last week, before the victim died, that a 13-year-old boy was charged with aggravated assault in the shooting and was placed in the Edmund L. Thomas Adolescent Center on a juvenile allegation. The 13-year-old remains in custody, according to Lorah.

More:13-year-old charged with shooting 16-year-old in head in latest violence to rock Erie

Erie police officials and Erie County District Attorney Elizabeth Hirz said Monday that the shooting remains under investigation, with no new charges filed.

If the shooting is ruled a homicide following an autopsy in Allegheny County, where the boy died, it would be the third homicide in Erie so far this year.

If the 13-year-old boy is charged with homicide in the shooting, he would be what is believed to be the youngest person ever charged with the offense in the city. Pennsylvania law has no age limit on when a person can be charged with homicide.

The shooting

The 16-year-old boy was shot in the head as he and others were inside a residence at the 2600 block of Wayne Street. The shooting was reported on July 16 at about 12:30 am, according to city police.

Investigators reported after the shooting that others were inside of the residence when the shooting occurred, and that detectives were speaking to those people in an effort to determine what happened and who was involved.

The shooting victim was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital. He was listed in critical condition as of Thursday morning, according to police.

Investigators have not said what they learned about the shooting and what led them to charge the 13-year-old boy with aggravated assault in the incident. Erie Police Chief Dan Spizarny said police aren’t releasing information on the case as the investigation continues.

More:Weekend violence in Erie leaves 16-year-old critical in shooting, two wounded in stabbing

Other young homicide defendants were 14

Erie police in recent years have charged two 14-year-olds with homicide in fatal shootings, making them among the youngest homicide defendants in Erie to date, police said. Another 14-year-old boy was charged with homicide in Erie in 1966.

Derrys Sanders Jr. was 14 when police charged him with fatally shooting 18-year-old Jacob Pushinsky in a dispute over a bicycle in July 2015. Sanders, now 21, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced in October 2016 to 35 years to live in prison.

Keyon E. Lucas was 14 when police accused him of firing gunshots into a van, killing 24-year-old Lavelle Beason in January 2017. Lucas, now 20, was convicted of third-degree murder and other charges at trial and was sentenced in August 2020 to 20 to 49 years in prison.

More:Erie murder defendant, charged at 14, gets 20-49 years

Ongoing gun violence

Gun violence in Erie, including the July 16 shooting, has surged for much of 2022.

City police have responded to and investigated 36 shootings that have killed or wounded people as of Monday morning. The most recent victim was a 24-year-old woman who was shot in the right thigh and left foot outside of a tavern in the 900 block of Hess Avenue shortly before 3 am on Sunday, according to police.

That shooting is under investigation, with no one charged as of Monday.

A rising number of juveniles have been the victims of shootings or charged as suspects in shootings, according to police.

The victims include 7-year-old Antonio Yarger Jr., who was fatally shot while walking with five other children in an east Erie neighborhood on April 14. Four people, including two 17-year-old boys, are charged in Antonio’s death.

Accused juvenile shooters this year include Jim’mare Crosby, who was 14 when police accused him of shooting another student inside Erie High School on April 5.

Yager killing:Two more suspects charged in killing of Erie boy; police say another person was targeted

Erie high shooting:Teen defendant in Erie High School shooting consents to transfer case to adult court

Contact Tim Hahn at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ETNhahn.

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