POTTSTOWN, Pa. (TCD) — A 15-year-old boy is facing multiple charges after he allegedly shot a 39-year-old homeless man in the face, killing him.
According to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 12:07 p.m., Pottsdown Police responded to Security Plaza on South Hanover Street and found Jeremiah Waylon Hawkins with an “obvious gunshot wound to the head.” Medics transported him to Pottsdown Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.
Witnesses at the scene reportedly detained the suspect, Thomas Niarhos, following the shooting. Police arrested the teen and located a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson, which reportedly belonged to Niarhos’ father.
The Montgomery County district attorney’s office said surveillance footage and witness statements indicated Niarhos “had sought out Hawkins.” The two were reportedly standing close to each other and were arguing. Niarhos allegedly “extended his arm toward Hawkins,” but then Hawkins “swung a tire at Niarhos, attempting to knock the gun out of his hand.”
In the process, Niarhos allegedly shot at Hawkins, striking him in the face. Niarhos shot a second time, then dropped the gun. As he walked away, bystanders reportedly stopped him and held him until police arrived.
According to the statement, the forensic pathologist determined Hawkins was shot in his face “at close range.” The pathologist said Hawkins’ cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death was homicide. Hawkins was “experiencing homelessness” when he was killed.
Niarhos is being charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, possessing a firearm by a minor, and possessing an instrument of crime.
Court records show Niarhos is being held without bail at the Montgomery County Detention Center.
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