Teenager and Two Children Fatally Shot in Pennsylvania - The World News

Teenager and Two Children Fatally Shot in Pennsylvania

Two people have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of two boys and a teenager in Lebanon, Pa., on Tuesday night, the authorities said on Thursday.

The boys, who were 8 and 9, were outside playing with their kitten when the shooting occurred, Pier Hess Graf, the Lebanon County, Pa., district attorney, said at a news conference. They were public-school students in Lebanon, a city of about 26,000 residents about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Bret Fisher, the Lebanon police chief, said that the authorities believed that Joshua Lugo-Perez, the 19-year-old who was fatally shot, had been targeted because of “a past argument.” He said that the two boys and a fourth victim, Luis Cancel, 33, who was recovering from surgery after being shot, were not involved.

A man and a juvenile male were arrested in connection with the shooting on Wednesday and were charged with three counts of criminal homicide and conspiring to commit that homicide and one count of aggravated assault, Ms. Graf said. A third suspect was still at large, she said.

Ms. Graf said her office was still determining whether the suspects could face the death penalty if convicted. “That decision is not a quick decision, and it is not one we take lightly,” she said.

Chief Fisher said on Thursday that the authorities recovered two firearms believed to have been used in the shooting, which was reported to the police just after 10 p.m. on Tuesday. As the police searched a building, two suspects tried to flee. One was detained immediately. The other was taken into custody after a three-hour search.

The 8-year-old died on the back porch of his residence, Chief Fisher said. The 9-year-old and Mr. Lugo-Perez were taken to medical facilities where they died.

Lebanon has low rates of gun violence compared with other cities. It has recorded one to three cases of murder and manslaughter annually in recent years, according to a state website that collects crime statistics.

Research has shown that gun violence has surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death for American children. In 2021, nearly two-thirds of gun deaths involving children — 2,279 — were homicides.

“These shootings are unacceptable,” Sherry Capello, Lebanon’s mayor, said at a news conference on Wednesday. “As a mom, I cannot overstate how heartbroken I am for the families.”

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