BEAVER FALLS, Pa. (AP) — Three teens charged in the fatal shooting of a western Pennsylvania woman targeted her after she told them to “get a job” when she saw them trying to bum a cigarette off her boyfriend, police said.
Beaver Falls police have charged 14-year-olds Todavia Cleckley and Marcus Velasquez and 13-year-old Kyle Goosby Jr. with conspiracy to commit criminal homicide and other charges in Saturday’s shooting of Kayla Peterson, 22. She was shot at about 3:30 p.m. that day and died in a Pittsburgh hospital two hours later.
William Bailey, 28, said he saw a teen police later identified as Velasquez pull a gun and shoot his fiance’ as she yelled at the teens who had followed him home from the store where he bought cigarettes.
The teens yelled profanities when he ignored their requests for a cigarette from his new pack.
“I didn’t acknowledge them. I didn’t look at them,” Bailey said. “I pretended I didn’t hear them.”
When he got home, Peterson heard the teens and stepped outside to tell the teens to stop running the streets and said, “Why don’t you guys get a job?” Bailey said.
That’s when Velasquez fired and, Bailey said, Goolsby ran away. “He didn’t want any part of that,” Bailey said.
Still, under Pennsylvania law, Goolsby and Cleckley are charged with conspiracy because they were allegedly part of the overall incident in which Peterson was killed.
Goolsby was arrested Monday, but Cleckley and Velasquez remained at large Tuesday. Police Chief Charles Jones Jr. didn’t immediately return a call, but has called the suspects “armed and dangerous. I’d like to see them off the street.”
Defense attorney Michael Santicola said Goolsby has never been in trouble before.
“He is a 13-year-old boy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Santicola said, describing Goolsby as a middle school student.
But officials at Big Beaver Falls Area School District released a statement saying all three suspects have not “been part of the student body or within the district’s buildings for over a year” without elaborating.
Bailey said he’s struggling with the loss of his fiance and explaining her death to their daughter, Ellionna, who will be 2 in January.
“She really was the rock of our family,” Bailey said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
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