Philadelphia police are searching for a 15-year-old boy who they say shot and killed a middle aged man while he was walking his dog.
James Stuhlman, 51, usually brought his 13-year-old daughter along for his nightly walks through his Overbrook neighborhood, but on March 12 he decided to go alone.
He was approached by three teenagers who attempted to rob him and one of the teens opened fire, NBC 10 reports.
“At one point, he did plead for his life,” Homicide Captain James Clark said at a news conference. “He said, ‘Please don’t shoot me, please don’t shoot,’ and they still shot him one time.”
Authorities have arrested two of the suspects, 15-year-old Brandon Smith and a 14-year-old boy whose name was not released. The 14-year-old is facing lesser chargers after cooperating with police.
The hunt has begun for the prime suspect, Tyfine Hamilton, who is also 15 years old. He is believed to be the one who pulled the trigger.
Clark told reporters that the boy is considered “armed and extremely dangerous.”
Authorities said the three teens were looking for a target that night and had considered a younger man but decided to go with Stuhlman because he seemed like an easier target with his small dog.
Stuhlman struggled briefly with the teens before Hamilton reportedly shot him. They fled the scene immediately after.
Police found Stuhlman dead, still clutching the dog leash in one hand and holding a flashlight in the other.
“The dog was lying next to him — appeared to be scared and in shock,” Lt. John Walker told NBC 10. “In his other hand was a flashlight.”
“His daughter goes for a walk with him almost every night,” Clark added. “For whatever reason, he said to her, ‘it’s a little late tonight I don’t want you walking with me.’ So in effect, he may have saved his daughter’s life.”
Police raided a home where the teenagers reportedly lived. They found handguns and assault rifles, authorities said.
The Philadelphia Inquirer tracked down the alleged gunman’s father, who said the boy rarely goes to school and had gone to live with his mother. He said he didn’t know where the boy was.
“If he would listen, then he wouldn’t be where he’s at,” the father told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
What makes the killing even more senseless is that the teens reportedly didn’t take anything from Stuhlman before they ran away.
“For no other reason than these kids wanted to rob somebody, he ended up losing his life,” Clark said. “His daughter will never see her father again. That is really sad.”
Source: NBC 10
Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police via NY Daily News