2nd teen arrested in murder of high school star athlete Kristian Marche in West Oak Lane

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Thursday, August 23, 2018
Teen suspects identified in murder of high school star athlete Kristian Marche
Teen suspects identified in murder of high school star athlete Kristian Marche. Maggie Kent reports during Action News at 4pm on August 22, 2018.

WEST OAK LANE (WPVI) -- Police say a second teen has been arrested in the slaying of an incoming freshman scheduled to compete in track and field for Penn State.

Sixteen-year-old Taron Small was arrested Wednesday on the 2500 block of Carlisle. The other suspect, 15-year-old Byron Vinson, was taken into custody earlier in the day.

Taron Small and Byron Vinson

Both are charged with murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Kristian Marche in West Oak Lane.

Police say it started with an attempted break-in of the Marche home on the 1800 block of East Pastorius Street around 9:40 p.m. on August 13. Police say Marche confronted the would-be robbers. Later, when he left his house, they were waiting for him in the driveway.

"Kristian Marche went outside and confronted the offenders. A short time later, Kristian Marche is observed entering the driveway with Vinson and Small,when Small produces a weapon, shooting Marche in the back of the head," said Philadelphia Police Lt. Norman Davenport. "There was not a struggle, not a fight. This was clearly a case of murder."

This news conference was held August 22, 2018 on suspects in murder of Kristian Marche.

Davenport says there was "some acquaintance" between Marche and the offenders but the nature of the relationship is unclear.

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

Teen arrested in track athlete's killing. Maggie Kent reports during Action News at Noon on August 22, 2018.

The teen was taken to Einstein Medical Center in critical condition; he succumbed to his injuries a day later.

Marche 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.

He 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.

Watch full police press conference from August 15, 2018 on murder of Kristian Marche.

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."


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