A 15-year-old charged Friday with fatally shooting a law student Wednesday night in York was part of a four-person group looking for someone to rob, according to charging documents.
Witnesses told police that, just after 11 p.m., they saw someone in a red shirt walk up behind a man sitting on a bench near West Clarke Avenue and Grant Street, heard a gunshot, and then saw someone running away.
The victim, later identified as James Wallmuth III, told a witness as he lay on the ground that the shooter tried to get his cell phone, charging documents state. Wallmuth had stepped out of a York bar to use his phone in Foundry Park when he was shot, police said.
Wallick was arraigned Friday night at Central Booking before District Judge Ron Haskell. Haskell denied Wallick bail, because by law a district judge cannot grant bail in homicide cases.
According to charging documents, Wallick - who was armed with a .45-caliber handgun - and three others were walking in the area of Grant and West Market streets when they targeted Wallmuth.
Wallick and one member of the group walked toward Wallmuth, while the other two walked west on West Market Street, charging documents state.
"The four of them then met up later in the 500 block of W. Princess St. where Wallick bragged about shooting the victim," charging documents state.
York City Police detectives later found a witness who had walked past the shooter just before the gunshot. The witness picked Wallick out of an eight-person photo line-up, charging documents state.
Police Chief Wes Kahley said during a news conference Friday morning that several more arrests in connection with Wallmuth's death are expected.
Kahley said Wallick had bounced between relatives' homes in West Manchester Township and York, including an address in the 700 block of West Princess Street.
The victim's father, James Wallmuth Jr., said Friday he was grateful for the work of the police department and the DA's office.
"We're glad they're so good at doing what they do," he said. "In one day, they did a great job."
Wallmuth Jr. said his son was a law-abiding citizen and went into law to help people.
"I think the pursuit of proper law enforcement is what we're all interested in," he said.
Kahley, too, praised the work of city detectives, who he said worked on the case nonstop for 24 hours. They started, he said, with nothing.
"It's hard for me to explain what these officers accomplished in the last 24 hours," he said. "It speaks to their tenacity."
Kahley also credited citizens who came forward with information. Some didn't necessarily see the crime but still helped lead police to the suspect, he said.
York Mayor Kim Bracey thanked who she called "the best detectives in south central Pennsylvania." York remains "a safe city, a good city," she said.
There are resources in the community to help people who might have issues or concerns with kids, she said. Such crimes will not be tolerated in the city, she said.
"Our police and caring residents . . . are tired of it," Bracey said.
Kahley said youth crime isn't just a problem in the city - it's on the rise nationwide. He reiterated that there are community resources for parents whose children are going down the wrong path.
"No one should have to put up with gunfire in their neighborhood," Kahley said. "To characterize York as a wild-west kind of town is wrong and inappropriate."
The city has limited resources but will "use what we have" to stop such crime and make sure the city is safe, he said.
"We're going to pull out whatever stops we can," he said.
Mourners hold vigil