HAVERTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A teenager is behind bars after allegedly shooting his classmate in the face. The victim, an 18-year-old football star, is fighting for his life. Authorities say the shooting happened during a drug deal.
The suspect’s family says the shooting was in self-defense.
Seventeen-year-old James McCauley was charged with attempted first-degree murder. Clad in white forensic coveralls, he was silent as he entered his arraignment Wednesday, less than a day after investigators say he shot a fellow classmate during a drug deal on Rose Tree Lane in Havertown.
“One hundred and fifty dollars of marijuana. One ounce of marijuana,” Delaware County District Attorney Kat Copeland said.
Police say a fight broke out between the alleged buyer, 18-year-old Marquis Mays — a football player at Haverford High School — and McCauley.
Court documents state McCauley pulled out a stolen .40 caliber handgun and shot Mays once.
“He was transported immediately to the hospital where he remains in extremely critical condition with a bullet lodged in his neck,” Copeland said.
It all happened in a subdued neighborhood, shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday, less than a mile from the high school both young men attend.
Police say the botched drug deal played out in a sedan owned by McCauley’s mother.
After bond was set a $1 million cash, McCauley left the Magistrate’s office still silent.
“There has been no opportunity to challenge or rebut the narrative put forth by the DA’s office,” attorney Christopher Koschier said.
McCauley’s attorney indicated the shooting may have been in self-defense, which the 17-year-old’s mother seemed to embrace, as she left the arraignment with her head down.
Two lives have been forever changed, best summed up by the suspect’s grandfather.
“It’s a tragedy,” he said.
McCauley’s preliminary hearing is set for next Thursday.
Mays remains in extremely critical condition.