PENN HILLS (KDKA/AP) – Prosecutors say a man won’t face a homicide charge in the shooting death of a teenager near a suburban Pittsburgh middle school earlier this year.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office said the 23-year-old was justified in firing at 16-year-old Deven Holloway on March 28, in a parking lot near Linton Middle School in Penn Hills.
The DA’s Office released this statement on the decision:
“After a thorough and complete investigation by the Allegheny County Police, our review of the evidence dealing with the fatal shooting of Deven Holloway indicated that Nicholas Knight was justified in his use of force to defend himself and, as a result, will not be charged with the shooting death. Knight has been charged with possessing a gun on school property and that charge was recently held for court.”
Erin Vecchio, the Penn Hills School Board President, told KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti “My reaction is I don’t know what happened that day, the police know more than I do, but, I’m just glad that Mr. Zappala decided to charge him with a gun law violation. Because everybody who has a gun permit knows you’re not allowed to bring…I carry a gun, I know I have to take it out of my purse anytime I go into that school district. So, I’m glad that something, at least, is being done here.”
Vecchio said what happened that March day was a real tragedy. School was letting out at the time of the shooting, adding “it’s sad for the community because we’re trying to pull this school district together…this was such a tragedy.”
Defense attorney Phil DiLucente said his client was there to play basketball and was defending himself from Holloway, who officials said was a student in the Penn Hills School District but didn’t attend the school.
DiLucente said he was pleased with the DA’s decision, saying, “Yes, there was a death, but with a thorough investigation, it was very clear my client was justified in all his acts that day. So, this has been a very traumatic experience for Mr. Knight. I can tell you that he’s pleased as well.” Knight is free on bond, he also faces a charge of tampering with evidence in the Holloway shooting.
DiLucente declined comment on charges of possession of a firearm on school property and evidence-tampering against his client but added “there needs to be some changes made to the law on who can have a gun on school property.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)