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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police say a second suspect has been arrested in connection with the murder of 18-year-old Kristian Marche, a star track and field athlete, who was gunned down just a day before heading to Pennsylvania State University on a scholarship.
Police say a 15-year-old Byron Vinson and 16-year-old Taron Small are both now in custody in connection with Marche‘s death. The two suspects are being charged with murder, conspiracy and weapons violations.
Marche was shot in the head in a back driveway on the 1800 block of East Pastorius Street in West Oak Lane, around 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 13.
Police say Marche was at home with a family member when one of the suspects attempted to break in. Police say Marche confronted Byron and Taron and then went back inside the home.
He then went back out and confronted them again, and that’s when, police say, Taron shot Marche in the back of the head.
“He was a good kid, on his way to a great education and future and someone in an act of cowardice just cuts him down,” said Jack Duncan, who mentored Marche as part of the organization Focused Athletics.
The organization helps inner-city student athletes with academics, athletics, and professional development.
Marche scored a 1060 on the SAT, the highest in his class of Focused Athletics peers. The organization is launching the Kristian Marche Scholarship Fund for the highest-scoring SAT student to keep his memory alive.
Lt. Norman Davenport says the case struck some tenured detectives, but that this arrest won’t be the end of teen gun violence.
“I think we need to come together as a community and decide what can we do to make a change. If a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old feels that it is OK to take the life of a very promising 18-year-old young man, whose parents and family, no doubt, did their best to bring him up in the right way and were going to send him away to college the next day, what would you imagine would happen 10 years from now when these same 14- and 15- and 16-year-olds are in their 20s?” said Davenport.
There is currently no word on a motive.