Tuesday, July 16, 2024
77 F
Beaver
Tuesday, July 16, 2024
77 F
Beaver

Killings Of Two Teens Highlight County Juvenile Crime Crisis

NEED TO KNOW:

What Beaver Countians in the wake of two child murders last weekend need to know is this:

– One man is in custody and another man connected to the stalking and execution-style shooting of a 15-year-old in Ambridge Sunday evening is still at large.

– As of now, there is no evidence the Ambridge murder and another of a 15-year-old boy in Aliquippa Saturday night is related, and the Aliquippa murderer is also still at large. But similarities are obvious: two 15-year-old boys from Aliquipa shot dead in the street within 24 hours in opposing river towns.

– Citizens in Ambridge didn’t hide when killers struck. They ran after the two men, reporting, photographing and videotaping them, and led police to the one arrested.

– Beaver County is part of a larger “juvenile crime crisis.”

– If this insanity is to end, people must get involved. “These situations that we’re having in communities all over the county with these juveniles being out of control, this is what it takes, it takes for the citizens to step up, get involved and people to talk. That’s how we solve crimes like this,” Ambridge Police Chief John DeLuca said Tuesday.

A CLOSER LOOK

Ambridge Police Chief John DeLuca and Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier spoke at a press conference Tuesday morning to announce the arrest of one man in the Ambridge murder of Asaun Moreland, who has been identified as being 15 years of age from Aliquippa.

Lozier said citizens reported that Nasean Hunt, 18, who has addresses in Aliquippa and Ambridge, and another man stalked Moreland through Ambridge and shot him four times “execution style” on Church Street around 7 p.m. Sunday.

Hunt was arrested later after an hours-long stand-off at an Olive Lane apartment building near Duss Avenue. Lozier said Hunt was arrested in the building. Hunt is now facing charges including homicide and is in the Beaver County Jail without bond.

Lozier said all of Beaver County law enforcement “is working hard to arrest the second individual who assisted Mr. Hunt.” He said officials are confident only the two men were involved because of multiple eyewitnesses who saw the two men wearing dark hoodies, face masks and dark pants following Moreland, who was clearly aware of being followed and tried to run from them.

Lozier said officials are also working on an arrest in the Aliquippa murder, but “at this time we have insufficient information to identify whether there’s any relationship between these two homicides. As of now we’re investigating them separately.”

State police are in charge of investigating the Saturday night murder of 15-year-old Dahvea Sparrow, who was reportedly attending a house party in the area of Aliquippa high school before he was shot. His body was also found in the street.

Ambridge police and the county detectives’ bureau are overseeing the Ambridge investigation, but Lozier said the entities are all working together to solve the crimes.

Chief Deluca thanked the community.

“The citizens that risked their own safety tracking these guys as they ran throughout our community. This wasn’t just within one block, these citizens went above and beyond to track these people 8-10 blocks and point out cameras for us, point out the exact path they took, which was very important in the investigation,” DeLuca said.

DeLuca said the police have been working on the case “nonstop 24 hours,” and will keep working until they get the second suspect in custody.

DeLuca also addressed questions of whether the community should feel safe.

“This has come up on our Facebook,” DeLuca said. “These juveniles are beefing with each other, so we can never say how safe it is. But to tell my community that they can’t go outside and about their day-to-day business, we don’t have any home invasions going on right now against any type of public or any civilians so I would like to point that out.”

Lozier said, “We have young male juveniles being killed by young male juveniles and we’ve been talking for months how we have a juvenile crime crisis. This is not just Beaver County, this is all of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

“We have young juveniles with guns. They’re stealing cars, they’re committing robberies, they’re committing assaults. And we’re doing everything we can as law enforcement, but we need the citizens’ help to help identify where they are and who they are and we can stop this.”

Beaver County Crime Solvers is offering a one-week reward of $5,000 for information that can lead to murder arrest and conviction for Moreland’s killer. Aliquippa’s school superintendent doubled the reward to $10,000.

Lori Boone
Lori Boone
Lori DeLauter Boone has more than 20 years of experience in investigative and community journalism. She’s won more than a dozen regional, state and national journalism awards.

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