An Easton Area High School student died Wednesday morning, hours after he was shot in front of his home.
Easton police arrested one suspect Wednesday night and charged him with homicide. The man, who was not named by police, was arraigned late Wednesday before Senior District Judge Sherwood Grigg in Easton.
Police said they are also seeking a second suspect. Police would not name the second suspect or release any other information about the arrest.
Clarence J. Edwards, 16, of 713 Spring Garden St., Easton, was pronounced dead at 7:30 a.m. at St. Luke's Hospital-Fountain Hill, according to Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim. He was shot about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Grim and Easton police.
Police say an 18-year-old man also was wounded in the shooting and taken to St. Luke's. Police did not identify the man, and his condition was unclear late Wednesday. In a news release, police asked anyone with information to call Detective Matthew Gerould at 610-250-6796.
Edwards' death is the Easton area's second homicide this year, and the second time a teenager has been shot and killed in the city in the last 12 months. It also comes less than two weeks after a march against violence that drew nearly 300 people to downtown Easton.
Easton High Principal Bill Rider would not confirm Edwards' name, but said the boy -- while technically a high school student -- attended an alternative education program at Shawnee Middle School. The other shooting victim graduated from the high school in 2005, Rider said. He declined to identify the other victim. Rider said some students knew the dead boy and knew about the shooting. The school provided counselors to them, he said.
"Basically, we went into crisis mode," Rider said. "If kids needed to go home, we sent them home."
Some students came to Edwards' home Wednesday afternoon, but declined to talk to a Morning Call reporter. A girl who answered the door at the house next door -- a twin home connected to 713 Spring Garden -- said the family would not comment.
The storm door at Edwards' home had shattered, with tiny pieces of broken glass littering the front porch. Blood had stained the sidewalk and a tissue box next to the front porch.
Neighbors say they heard three shots late Tuesday night, but called 911 without leaving their homes.
"One, two, three and that was it," said Vincent Knapp, who lives across the street.
Several people on the block say they have heard gunshots in the neighborhood several times in the past few months.
"It's just changed, the area's changed," said one woman, who asked not to be identified. "I don't want to know my neighbors anymore. I mean, it's a still a good neighborhood. People can walk with their kids, kids play."
Edwards' death is the second area homicide of 2006. On Jan. 10, 23-year-old Jason Oliver of Nesquehoning Street, Easton, was fatally wounded in a shooting outside C.R. Fanny's Gentleman's Club and Sports Bar in Wilson. John Logan Jr., 19, of 1434 Lehigh St., Easton, has been charged with killing Oliver and wounding another man, 25-year-old Jacob Holmes, also of Easton. Police say another man may be involved in the shooting.
In August, 17-year-old Roy Jenkins was shot and killed on the front porch of a home on Easton's Northampton Street. Michael Staton, 18, of Easton, has been charged with criminal homicide in Jenkins' death, and allegedly told police Jenkins wasn't the intended target of the shooting. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
The Rev. Philip Davis, pastor of Easton's Greater Shiloh Church and one of the organizers of last month's anti-violence march, called Edwards' death "extremely frustrating."
He and other community leaders met Wednesday with Mayor Phil Mitman to discuss strategies to curb violence in the city. Ideas that came up included youth empowerment programs and weekly prayer walks. They had planned the meeting several days ago, but Davis said Edwards' death underscored the problem.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun