ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) – The primary suspect in an Aliquippa double murder investigation turned himself into police Wednesday afternoon.
The Aliquippa Police chief says the shooting was the result of a drug deal among a group of teenagers.
Two 17-year-olds have already been charged in the double homicide, but police were still looking for the primary suspect Wednesday morning.
According to the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office, Lawrence “Pooh Rat” Reddick Jr. turned himself in at the Beaver County Jail around 2:30 p.m.
Attorney Blaine Jones, who is representing Reddick, helped facilitate his surrender Wednesday.
“This is a young man who was not running from anything. His family contacted me – very nice family. They contacted me within the last 24 hours and their desire was to turn him in safely,” said Jones.
On Wednesday, crime scene tape remained in the backyard of a home on Irwin Street in Aliquippa, where the body of 18-year-old Dane Mathesius was found on Tuesday.
Police had been searching for him for five days.
“We’d been searching with air support and organized ground searches and just didn’t catch him,” Aliquippa Police Chief Don Couch said.
Police wanted to question Mathesius about a shooting last Thursday that left 16-year-old William Booher dead.
Booher’s body was found inside Mathesius’ Honda Civic on Wade Street.
Elroy Hollins, of Aliquippa, and some of his neighbors saw some of the crime scene aftermath.
“I saw the young man in the back seat and it didn’t look good. I asked her if he’s still breathing. She said she thinks he’s trying to talk. I told the man on the porch to call 911.”
When asked about the body found on Tuesday, Hollins said, “I just can’t understand. I don’t know. Was that young man laying back there all those days? To me that’s unreal.”
Police believe Mathesius may have run from the scene after the shooting. A 13-year-old, who was also in the car, told police he and the two teenagers went to Aliquippa to sell marijuana.
“We believe it was a drug deal gone bad. It quickly escalated and because it escalated, those involved will have to face responsibility for it,” Chief Couch said.
Police have already arrested Ronald Foster Jr. and Deontae Jones, both of Aliquippa. Both are 17 and are members of the Aliquippa High School football team.
They are being charged as adults in this case.
Tom Hinz also lives in the neighborhood and told KDKA, “You always hear gunfire and people stabbing people and stuff up here all the time. Probably because of the drug use.”