Victim kills teen robber on trail, police say

Victim kills teen robber on trail, police say


Tim Leedy (1/26/2012)

Police investigate the fatal shooting Wednesday along the Thun Trail in Cumru Township, just outside West Reading.

A 65-year-old man shot two teens, one fatally, as they tried to rob him Wednesday morning on a trail near the Schuylkill River, police said.

The Berks County coroner’s office did not release the name of the boy who was killed, saying only that he was a 16-year-old from the city. Officials said his mother asked them to give her time to notify relatives before releasing his name.

He was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:17 p.m. by Deputy Coroner Jonn M. Hollenbach. An autopsy is scheduled this afternoon in Reading Hospital.

The other teen, who was shot once, was taken to Reading Hospital. Police did not release his name. Information on his condition could not be obtained.

A third teen, identified only as a 15-year-old boy, was stopped at the scene by police and taken in for questioning. He was later committed to the county youth center in Bern Township on unspecified charges.

Authorities also did not release the name of the man, who was not charged.

Police said the shooting occurred shortly before 11 on the Thun Trail near the Schuylkill River pedestrian bridge between Reading and West Reading.

According to investigators:

The man was riding his bicycle on the trail near the Bertolet Fishing Dock at South First Avenue and Chestnut Street in West Reading.

The teens knocked the man off his bicycle, and two of them assaulted him.

The man pulled out a handgun and shot them both.

Someone flagged down a passer-by in the 200 block of Riverfront Drive near Reading Area Community College.

Within minutes officers from the city, West Reading, Cumru Township, state police and the Berks County sheriff’s office were at the scene. They found the dead boy on a sliver of land that is part of Cumru at the end of the pedestrian bridge.

District Attorney John T. Adams responded with detectives from the county’s forensic services unit.

After consulting with Adams, police decided to release the man and charge the juvenile.

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