Note: we are republishing this story amid recent reports of a surge in violent crime and robberies across America during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two Philadelphia teens were arrested after they reportedly killed a man who was walking his dog.
James Patrick Stuhlman was killed after Brandon Smith and Tylfine Hamilton attempted to rob him. The teens were playing basketball at the time and spotted Stuhlman walking his dog. They considered him to be "weak" and approached him. A struggle took place briefly before the 51-year-old was shot in the chest.
"At one point he did plead for his life," Philadelphia Homicide Captain James Clark told WCAU. "He said, 'Please don't shoot me, please don't shoot me,' and they still shot him one time."
After the shooting, the teens reportedly panicked and left Stuhlman alone without taking anything from him.
"Nothing," Clark said. "Nothing was taken, which makes this even more senseless and even more troubling. Nothing was taken at all, and he lost his life."
Tylfine was not initially arrested, and remained at large for some time before finally surrendering to authorities. Lt. John Walker told WCAU that when Stuhlman's body was found, he still had the dog leash in his hand.
"The dog was lying next to him -- appeared to be scared and in shock," Walker said. "In his other hand he had a flashlight."
Clark said that Stuhlman took a walk every night with the dog, often times with his daughter tagging along.
"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," Clark said.
Many readers called for the teens to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
"These teens knew what they were doing and should be tried as adults. They have no value for life. The man that was killed seemed like a nice guy. I feel sorry for their family that they have to suffer such a loss," one reader commented on Facebook.
"When we call for the death penalty, for convicted murderers, we rob the defense attorneys and parole boards of much needed pay checks, and that is the reason capital punishment is fought so vigorously," another wrote.
"If the victim was allowed to carry a concealed pistol, the story would have ended quite differently! There would have been one dead and the others running for mama, and the victims daughter would have been able to see her father again! I walk for an hour and I'm in my seventies, I may seem vulnerable, BUT I am aware of my surroundings at all times and I'm licensed and trained by the range and the military, to carry a concealed equalizer, for just such occasions! What a tragedy."
"This is what happens when children are not taught respect its their parent who are the Associates and who should also be held accountable," another added.