18-year-old charged in shooting death of teen in Duquesne Heights | TribLIVE.com

18-year-old charged in shooting death of teen in Duquesne Heights

Courtesy of Jay Alman Courtesy of Jay Alman
The Alman family is pictured in this photo from about three years ago: Alexander, left, his father Jack “Jay,” and brothers Joshua and Charles “Boston” Alman. Alexander Alman died Sept. 9 after a shooting Sept. 8 in Duquesne Heights.
Courtesy of Jay Alman
Alexander Alman
Courtesy of Allegheny County Jail
Michael Anthony Hartwick

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.

Tom Davidson and Brian C. Rittmeyer are Tribune-Review staff writers. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter @TribDavidson. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.