Another city resident shot dead; arrest announced

A 19-year-old city man was arraigned late Thursday night on charges stemming from the shooting death of another young man hours earlier in a second-floor apartment in the 1200 block of West Fourth Street, city police said.

Da’Ran Malik Sears, of 1261 W. Fourth St., has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering, simple assault and receiving stolen property as a result of a shooting that occurred in his apartment about 2:15 p.m. and claimed the life of Donte Marks, 22, of the 800 block of High Street, police said.

Sears told police he “was handling a handgun when it discharged, striking Marks,” Agent Trent R. Peacock said in an affidavit.

It turned out that the handgun was stolen, Peacock said, adding that weapon was owned by Ron Brelsford. It had been reported stolen to the state police at Montoursville.

Marks was pronounced dead in the Williamsport Regional Medical Center’s emergency room at 3:24 p.m., Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. said.

He said Marks died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Kiessling said “I’m not ruling on the manner of death at this point. We’re at the very early states of this investigation.”

Police and paramedics were dispatched to the two-story apartment house to investigate a report of a person with “an unknown medical problem,” Capt. Timothy Miller told a reporter at the scene.

“One of our officers arrived here before the ambulance. He didn’t know what he was walking into or what he might find. He went inside and saw a male victim with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the chest,” Miller said.

“We’re still trying to determine motive. It does appear that all the individuals involved know each other,” Miller added.

Peacock said a 911 dispatcher “received an anonymous call from someone saying only they needed medical help at that address.”

The sirens and the arrival of emergency responders certainly got the attention of neighbors.

“I first heard an ambulance stopping near the front of my house and then all these police cars came,” one neighbor, who did not give her name, said

“I soon saw police bring a young man out of the building in handcuffs and then paramedics brought a man out on a stretcher. They were doing chest compressions on him,” the woman said.

“The guy in handcuffs was jumping up and down and saying ‘I didn’t do anything. I didn’t do anything,'” the neighbor added.

The same neighbor said that several minutes later, she saw police handcuff a second man and put him in the back of another cruiser. No information was available about this individual and if he was later released.

Sources said the apartment house has four units, three of them occupied. Two brothers, believed to be in their 20s, live in the apartment where the shooting occurred.

A 24-year-old single mother of two who lives in the apartment house was upset to see crime tape surrounding the entire building when she arrived home from work about 5:30 p.m.

“Who wants to come home to this,” she told a reporter as she helped her children out of the car.

She did not know the tenants in the apartment where the shooting occurred, she said.

Sears was committed to the Lycoming Prison in lieu of $750,000.