Police: Shooting that killed 15-year-old was a setup, suspects planned to rob victim of drugs, money

Local News

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — New details are being released about a shooting that killed a 15-year-old late Tuesday night in Altoona.

Altoona police say the shooting was a setup. According to police, Logan C. Persing, 16, talked to the victim, identified as Devon Pfirsching, 15, on Snapchat and said he wanted to buy weed, but Persing and two other suspects planned to rob him instead.

According to the criminal complaint, Pfirsching and his three friends were bowling before going to his house to pick up the weed he planned to sell.

When the group arrived in the area near Jefferson Park, they parked the vehicle in the 100-block of 5th Ave., according to documents.

The criminal complaint says Pfirsching then got out of the vehicle and walked south towards the alley between Overflow Church and Jefferson Park.

The three friends waited in the vehicle and after several minutes they heard a loud bang and something that sounded like metal hitting metal, according to the criminal complaint. They say they saw an unknown male, later identified as Owen Scott Southerland, fleeing north in a hoodie.

According to documents, the group tried to call and message Pfirsching to check on him, and after he didn’t respond, they went to check on him, where they found him laying on the ground in a pool of blood with injuries to his face and head.

2 of the 3 suspects in the Altoona shooting of a teenager are brought into the Blair County Courthouse Thursday. (WTAJ)

Police say they were able to find locations that had video surveillance, which showed a male running from the scene.

The criminal complaint says Southerland contacted a 16-year-old and informed him he had just shot and killed Pfirsching over a bag of marijuana, and complained that he failed to get the marijuana from Pfirsching before leaving the scene. Police did recover a bag of suspected marijuana from the scene.

As police continued to investigate, the other two males were identified as 16-year-old Logan Persing and 15-year-old Damien Green. Officers were able to locate Persing and Green along with their respective parents.

According to the criminal complaint, all three teens confessed to being involved in the homicide.

According to police, Southerland pulled a handgun from his waistband and threatened Pfirsching.

Police say Southerland pistol-whipped Pfirsching twice. When Pfirsching reached for the gun to protect himself, the gun went off. The bullet struck him in the left temple, according to police.

Southerland told police he threw the gun into a nearby yard, according to the criminal complaint. Police say they haven’t found the gun, but it was described as a Glock.

Southerland told police he illegally purchased the gun for 3 grams of weed and $110 cash, according to documents.

Southerland is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, criminal conspiracy, illegally carrying a firearm, and other related charges.

Persing and Green are both charged with second-degree murder, criminal conspiracy, and other related charges.

All three teens are being charged as adults.

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