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15-year-old charged as an adult in Pottstown, Pa. shooting

Digital Brief: Nov. 25, 2023 (AM)
Digital Brief: Nov. 25, 2023 (AM) 03:18

POTTSTOWN, Pa. (CBS) -- A 15-year-old Montgomery County teenager is being charged as an adult in connection with the fatal shooting of a 39-year-old man in Pottstown on Wednesday.

The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office says Thomas Niarhos of Stowe, Pa. shot and killed the victim near the railroad tracks at South Hanover Street and Security Plaza.

Police identified the victim as 39-year-old Jeramiah Hawkins.

According to a criminal complaint, police were called to the area just after 12 p.m. and found witnesses to the shooting who said Niarhos argued with and shouted at Hawkins before firing multiple shots.

Witnesses quoted in the document said Niarhos accused Hawkins of a crime before shooting him. The teen then ran into the parking lot of the nearby Blue Elephant and witnesses held him at the scene until police arrived.

Police said Niarhos took the gun from his father's locked nightstand.

Months earlier in July, Pottstown police stopped Niarhos near the same intersection for loitering and a curfew violation, and he told them about the alleged crime Hawkins committed.

Detectives were able to locate the alleged victim of that crime, Niarhos' girlfriend, but the girlfriend's mother told police they did not want to pursue a criminal investigation.

Niarhos faces murder and weapons charges and is being held in the Montgomery County Prison. He is ineligible for bail.

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