Thursday, March 23, 2006

Police say airsoft BB shooter targeted boy at random

The man jailed for allegedly shooting a 12-year-old Mechanicsburg Middle School student in the head with a BB gun last month apparently singled the boy out at random, Upper Allen Township police say.

Calling it a “crime of opportunity,” Lt. M.S. McLaughlin says Tyler Bailey, 20, of the 100 block of West Main Street, Mechanicsburg, shot the child with an “airsoft automatic BB gun” before fleeing the scene Feb. 23. The child was just getting out of school for the afternoon and was “not seriously injured,” McLaughlin says, but was still on the school’s 1750 S. Market St. property. The child was hit in the face with multiple objects, police say in arrest papers.

During an investigation, police say they determined Bailey was a passenger in a red Honda Civic that, after picking up another middle school student, shot at the victim from a close range.

At least one similar incident was reported in a bordering municipality, police say.

After the shooting, Bailey and the car’s other occupants fled to the first block of Bradford Court, police say.

It was here that Bailey allegedly stole $90.95 worth of frozen food from a Schwann Food Co. truck.

Mother called police

The shooting victim’s mother reported the incident to police that evening, police say.

At Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, all charges against Bailey were forwarded to Cumberland County Court including possession of a weapon on school property, simple assault, reckless endangerment, harassment and theft.

Of the five charges, the weapon possession is the most serious one, which carries a statutory maximum jail time of two-and-a-half to five years.

He was arrested following an investigation and, as of Wednesday, remained in Cumberland County Prison without bail, officials there say. A full written confession was obtained, police say.
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