Teenager charged with murder after shooting a man in the head

POTTSTOWN, PA – A 15-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder following a fatal shooting in Pottstown on Wednesday afternoon, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office confirmed. The police responded to a scene at South Hanover Street near Security Plaza around noon and found a man with a gunshot wound to his head. The victim was subsequently identified as 39-year-old Jeremiah Waylon Hawkins, who was rushed to a nearby hospital but later pronounced dead.

Upon arriving at the scene, the police quickly apprehended the shooting suspect, identified as Thomas James Niarhos of Stowe, who was detained by a witness. A firearm was recovered from the scene, which was later determined to belong to Niarhos’ father.

Investigations revealed an altercation had occurred between Hawkins and Niarhos prior to the shooting. Surveillance video showed that Niarhos had drawn a gun towards Hawkins, who had swung a tire in an apparent attempt to knock the weapon out of Niarhos’ hand. Subsequently, Niarhos shot at Hawkins twice, dropped the gun, and was subsequently detained.

The autopsy report specified the close-range nature of the shooting, confirming that Hawkins was shot once at the side of his face.

Niarhos, now charged as an adult, is facing charges of first-degree murder, third-degree murder, possessing a firearm as a minor, and possessing an instrument of crime, among other charges. He is currently being held at the Montgomery County Youth Center with no bail. A preliminary hearing for his case has been scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on November 30.