16-Year-Old Charged in Teen Party Deaths

Kanei Daniel Avery was charged as an adult

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chester Police Dept.
    Kanei Daniel Avery, 16, was charged as an adult in connection with the two teen shooting deaths at a party on April 8, 2011 at the Minaret Temple in Chester, Pa.

    A 16-year-old was charged Friday with the shooting deaths of two teens at a party in Chester last week. A total of nine people were shot during the party.

    Kanei Daniel Avery was charged as an adult with first degree and third degree homicide after investigators linked the fatal bullets to a gun Avery was holding the night of the party, according to Delaware County District Attorney Michael Green.

    Avery was wrestled to the ground that night on the steps of the Minaret Temple on W. 4th street, where the party was held, after a security guard spotted him with a gun, prosecutors said.

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    It was standing room only at a Wednesday night meeting for parents in Chester. "Flip your kid's mattress and find those weapons!" "Ditch the 'no snitch' attitude!" Those were some of the messages parents are trying to rally around after a violent weekend. Nine people were shot at a teen party and two of them died.

    Inside the Minaret, police found the shooting victims among about 200 young party-goers. Robel Laboy, 18 and David Johnson, 19 died.

    Avery was interviewed within hours of the shootings with his mother at his side. She stopped the interview after her son made several conflicting statements to Chester detectives, Green said.

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    Family and friends hold a prayer vigil for nine teens shot at a birthday party. Two teens were killed in the melee.

    Initially, Avery told cops he saw the gun on the floor, picked it up and ran outside the building. "He later stated that gun was placed in his hand by the security guard and then he was apprehended by that guard," Green said.

    Ballistics tests showed that the bullets removed from Laboy and Johnson came from the Tanfoglio Giuseppe .32 caliber handgun Avery was holding that night, Green said.

    "At this time, we have not been able to charge anyone in connection with the shootings of the remaining victims," Green said. "Most of the wounds of these victims were either through and through gunshot wounds or graze gunshot wounds. In three cases, bullets are still lodged in the bodies of victims." Doctors don't want to take those bullets out, so investigators haven't been able to connect the shootings, forensically, to the gun Avery allegedly used and a second gun found inside the Minaret that night.

    Green applauded the community, saying they'd received a lot of information and conducted over 100 interviews. He asked for help in finding whoever else may be connected to the seven other shootings. If you have any information, call the Chester Detectives Division: 610-447-8430.