18-year-old charged in shooting death of teen in Duquesne Heights
An 18-year-old Duquesne Heights man is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Sept. 8 shooting of a 16-year-old.
The teen, Alexander Alman, died Sept. 9 at UPMC Mercy Hospital from a single gunshot wound.
Michael Anthony Hartwick Jr., 18, was arrested Tuesday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and a gun violation.
In a Sept. 16 interview with Pittsburgh police, Hartwick described Alman as his best friend, according to a criminal complaint.
Hartwick and Alman were alone at Hartwick’s home in Pittsburgh’s Duquesne Heights neighborhood when police said they were handling Hartwick’s newly-acquired 9mm handgun. They were also playing with airguns Hartwick had in his room. They pointed the guns at each other “in a playful manner” when the 9mm went off and Alman was shot in the left eye, according to the complaint.
Hartwick didn’t think the gun was loaded at the time, he told police, according to the complaint.
“I’m probably more upset today than when I was in the beginning, now that I know exactly how this happened,” Jay Alman, Alexander’s father, said Wednesday in an interview with the Tribune-Review.
The elder Alman lives in Tarentum.
“They do not know how Michael got the gun. There’s nothing they can prove right now,” Jay Alman said. “That part upsets me most. I am still worried that whoever is supplying these guns and ammunition to these kids, teenagers. I’m afraid for my other two boys. Because I know this person is still walking the streets.”
Jay Alman said he feels sorry for Hartwick and has been praying for him.
“It’s a stupid tragedy that could have been avoided. An utter waste of a life,” he said. “I don’t know what the answer is but a 16-year-old does not need to be around guns. Period.”
Alexander attended Grandview Elementary and Highlands Middle School when he was younger, his father said.
He was starting his junior year at Pittsburgh Brashear High School.
Hartwick’s attorney, Timothy Tomasic, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.