LEECHBURG (KDKA) – A 17-year-old boy accused of shooting and killing another teenager in Armstrong County is being charged as an adult.
The victim was found with a gunshot wound to his chest and later died at the hospital.
According to court records, the motive in the Leechburg shooting Tuesday afternoon was robbery.
KDKA’s Heather Abraham Reports:
According to police statements, Derrike Roppolo was at an apartment on Basin Drive visiting. Roppolo was one of four people in the apartment.
Just before 2 p.m., a masked man, later identified as 17-year-old Todd Johnson, and a 17-year-old accomplice barged in.
Police say the suspects were there with the intention of robbing them of marijuana.
One of the women in the apartment was ordered upstairs at gunpoint.
Another woman pulled out her cell phone and began taking pictures of Johnson holding a pistol, according to court records. Police report Johnson allegedly stole the phone when he fled the apartment.
Police say, after talking with witnesses, that Roppolo then told Johnson, “You don’t have to do this. You’re just kidding, right?”
Johnson pushed Roppolo and shot him once in the chest. Roppolo died at Allegheny Valley Hospital a short time later.
A bystander, according to the Armstrong County District Attorney, provided police with a description of the blue Hummer the two suspects were seen leaving in.
State Police say after a brief chase, they successfully pulled the Hummer over and arrested Johnson and the other teen, who remains unidentified.
It is unclear if police recovered the weapon or if they found the stolen cell phone containing the alleged images of Johnson holding the pistol.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Kyle Marsinetti is still trying to come to terms with the shooting. The home where it happened belongs to him.
“I have no clue. I have no idea. It makes no sense to me,” he said. “It came from nowhere.”
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti Reports:
KDKA has learned that Johnson is currently a cyber-student and attending the Lenape Tech School.
Johnson has been charged with robbery and criminal homicide. He is being held in the Armstrong County Prison on $500,000 bond.
“He was one of our closer friends. It would seem crazy he’d come here with a gun,” said Marsinetti.
Marsinetti says his home is drug free and Johnson’s motives were different.
“It was a thrill kill, that’s all it was,” he said.
The unidentified 17-year-old suspect is a current student at Ford City High School. State Police have not said what, if any, charges he will be facing.
For Marcinetti, nothing will be the same about the place he calls home.
“I don’t know what the future is for this house,” he said. “It’s hard to stay here. I couldn’t sleep last night.”