Allderdice High stunned by fatal shooting of classmate, 16, a 'smart, funny' AP student
Classmates and friends of Jonathan Freeman remembered the 16-year-old Allderdice High School honors student Thursday as a smart, funny boy with what seemed like a bright future while expressing shock and disbelief that he was shot and killed in the city’s Homewood South neighborhood the night before.
“The whole school is pretty sad about it,” said Ja’Von Younger, 17, who shared classes with Jonathan at the school along Beechwood Boulevard in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. She recalled Jonathan as a peer who would often make people laugh in the classroom while also having a reputation as an ambitious student who took Advanced Placement college preparation courses.
“He was just so smart, AP classes, stuff like that. A smile always on his face,” Ja’Von said. “He was just a really good kid, and so it’s just crazy how it happened to him. I couldn’t believe it.”
Jonathan, who lived in the city’s Stanton Heights neighborhood, died in a hospital about 10 p.m. Wednesday after getting shot in Homewood South about 7:40 p.m., officials said.
His family could not be reached.
Police said they found the critically wounded teen inside a house on Susquehanna Street after receiving a ShotSpotter notification.
Investigators say evidence indicates that gunfire was exchanged both inside and outside the house where they found Jonathan, Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Alicia George said. Police found multiple shell casings at the residence.
“At the time of the shooting, there were other people inside the house but there were no other reported injuries,” George said.
The Allegheny Count Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide and determined the cause of death to be gunshot wounds to the teen’s head and torso.
Jonathan’s death is the first homicide of 2019 in Allegheny County.
Several students leaving Allderdice when classes let out shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday said they knew Jonathan to be a friendly guy who played soccer and had a good sense of humor. All said they were stunned that he had been shot and killed.
Those who knew him are planning a vigil in his honor. A date has not yet been set.
“We don’t really know what happened,” Ja’Von said. “We’re just all trying to figure stuff out. The school’s there to, like, support us and stuff.”
Allderdice operated on a modified lockdown Thursday per district procedure after the death of a student under tragic circumstances such as a fatal shooting. The school offered counseling to students coping with grief and disbelief.
Prior to Allderdice, Jonathan attended Liberty K-5 elementary school in Shadyside and Obama 6-12 in East Liberty.
In a statement, Pittsburgh Public Schools described Jonathan as a “high-achieving student” whom was “very well-liked by all who knew him.”
“We are all very saddened by this senseless loss of life,” the district statement said.
School administrators and teachers could not be reached for comment.
As of Thursday afternoon, police had not released any information about possible suspects or pending arrests or charges.
The investigation is ongoing.
Officials asked anyone with information about the shooting to call Pittsburgh police’s Violence Crime Unit at 412-323-7800.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, email@example.com or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.