A selfie photograph led police to charge a teenager in connection with the Wednesday shooting death of another teen in Jeannette, according to authorities.
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck confirmed late Friday night that Maxwell Morton, 16, was charged as an adult in the shooting death of Ryan Mangan.
The alleged selfie obtained by police showed Morton posing in front of Mangan’s body. A woman contacted police Thursday after her son received the Snapchat photo from Morton, police said.
Morton is charged with criminal homicide and murder in the first degree, in addition to one count of possession of a firearm by a minor, according to court documents. He was denied bail Friday night.
Authorities said Mangan, 16, was found shot to death inside his mother’s Rankin Avenue home around 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Sources told Channel 11’s Joe Holden that Mangan was shot once in the head.
The selfie “depicted the victim sitting in the chair with a gunshot wound to the face,” according to a police affidavit. “It also depicts a black male taking the selfie with his face facing the camera and the victim behind the actor. The photo had the name ‘Maxwell’ across the top.”
The black male was identified by police as Morton and a search warrant was served Friday, the affidavit stated. During the search a 9 mm handgun was recovered and Morton confessed that he used it to shoot Mangan.
The affidavit further stated that the son of the woman who contacted police about the selfie received messages from Morton. The messages stated, “Told you I cleaned up the shells” and “Ryan was not the last one.”
On Thursday evening, around 40 friends gathered for prayers and to comfort one another.
Close friends of Mangan said he was outgoing and an easygoing person.
“(He’s) always cracking jokes, always being goofy, always wanting to be funny – the class clown. (He) wanted all eyes on him,” said Francesca Malak, one of Mangan’s friends.
The teen was a junior at Jeannette High School.
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