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JEANNETTE, Pa. - A selfie led police to charge a teenager in connection with the Wednesday shooting death of another teen in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh's WPXI-TV reports.
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 selfie obtained by police reportedly shows 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 home about 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Sources told WPXI-TV’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, police said.
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 an outgoing, 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.
“It’s just a shame that this happened,” said Taylor Wiltrout, another of Mangan’s friends.
Mangan’s friends said they’re having a difficult time understanding how anyone could justify such violence.
“There needs to be justice for him, and I hope and I pray for his mom every night because I couldn't imagine,” said Joscelyn Elias.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help Mangan's family with funeral expenses. Anyone wishing to make donations can click here.