Young star athlete killed in West Oak Lane shooting

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Thursday, August 16, 2018
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Philadelphia police are investigating the shooting death of a local star athlete as reported by Christie Ileto during Action News at 10 on August 15, 2018.

WEST OAK LANE (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are investigating the shooting death of a local star athlete, who was supposed to report to Penn State this week on a track and field scholarship.

18-year-old Kristian Marche was shot around 9:40 p.m. Monday outside his home on the 1800 Block of East Pastorius Street in West Oak Lane.

When police arrived, they found Marche in a rear driveway suffering from one gunshot wound to the head.

"We believe there may have been some communication. He went outside. No witnesses out there - at least that have come forward at this time," said Philadelphia Police Lt. Norman Davenport. "Some shots are heard and subsequently, as police arrive, he's found in the driveway shot."

The teen was taken to Einstein Medical Center where he remained in critical condition until Tuesday, when he finally succumbed to his injuries.

He was beloved in the track and field community, considered one of the fastest sprinters in the state, and had earned a partial scholarship to Penn State University.

Marche was a recent graduate of Imhotep Institute Charter High School where, in addition to the track team, he excelled as a member of the football team.

Family members said their grief is so great they can't bear to talk about what happened.

Jackson Duncan, the founder of Focused Athletics, a non-profit that helps inner-city high school athletes, said Marche was one of the organization's first students in 2015.

"He did his SATs, went to school, got good grades, he took care of his teammates, the kid did everything right. For him to end like this it's heartbreaking," he said.

In a video posted on the organization's website, Marche talks about how the program helped him to stay out of trouble.

"Thank God for this because I don't know what I'd be doing right now," he said.

After news of Marche's death, Sandy Barbour, Penn State Director of Athletics, released the following statement:

"Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Kristian Marche's family, friends and teammates. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy; another young person taken from his loved ones far too early. Our thoughts are with Kristian's family and friends; we will do what we can to support them and our track and field students and staff during this very difficult time."

Police have no motive, no suspects, and few leads to go on. They don't think this was a random crime.

"We believe this was targeted. We have no reason to believe that this was a random act," Davenport said.

Police are asking parents of young people in Marche's circle to talk to their kids and ask them what they know, as they try to figure out who killed this star athlete.

"There was nothing in Kristian's past that would suggest that this crime should have occurred. That's why we're making this appeal because this case needs to be solved," Davenport said.

If you have any information that can help the investigation you are urged to contact police.


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