Two minors were arrested this week in connection with a shooting that left a promising college-bound athlete dead.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, 15-year-old Byron Vinson and 16-year-old Taron Small were arrested after they allegedly forced their way into the home of victim Kristian Marche.
Philadelphia police investigators say the 18-year-old was inside the residence along West Oak Lane on the evening of August 13 when the two suspects broke in through a rear door. The older suspect is accused of opening fire on Marche as the victim walked away after confronting them about the attempted home invasion.
According to Lt. Norman Davenport of the homicide division, Marche had no opportunity to fight back.
“There was not a struggle, there was not a fight. This was clearly a case of murder,” he said.
Marche was transported to an area hospital that evening and was pronounced dead the following day.
As of the initial police statement, it was unclear why the two suspects were believed to have targeted the Imhotep Charter High School graduate. Authorities do believe they the suspects and victim were previously acquainted in some capacity.
Marche had been a standout track star and was on his way to attend Penn State.
The city has seen an alarmingly high number of homicides involving teen victims, but Davenport said Marche’s death “really hit a lot of detectives hard.”
Vinson was arrested Wednesday, followed later the same day by Small’s arrest. Both are expected to face criminal charges including murder and conspiracy.
Diamond Woolford, who had been Marche’s personal coach, said he was “still trying to grasp” the extent of the tragedy.
He offered a glowing depiction of the teen, both as an athlete and as a human.
Marche “could literally turn a complete stranger … into a friend within a matter of seconds,” Woolford said, adding that he cannot imagine why anyone would want to kill him.
At the time of his death, the coach said Marche was “about to leave in a few hours” to visit the campus of the university he was slated to attend beginning this fall.
[Featured image: Byron Vinson and Taron Small, Philadelphia Police Department]