TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A fifteen year old boy is dead. His brother is charged with killing him even though police say he did not pull the trigger.
The killing happened in this neighborhood near 29th and Craycroft
Tucson Police say 15 year old Johnathon Schmedding was one of four people who tried to rob another group of men.
When that group tried to escape Roy Lee Brown shot at them. Johnathon Schmedding got in the way. He was shot and killed.
No one says Johnathan Schmedding's brother did the shooting, but the law says says if you're involved in a crime that leads to a death you're charged with murder too.
It all happened in a neighborhood near 29th and Craycroft where residents are mixed on whether the area's dangerous or not.
People who live near 28th and Van Buren say police arrived moments after the shooting.
Officers say young men trying to pull off a robbery who ended up killing one of their own.
In the wild world of street crime this is probably at least a little unusual. One group of men tries to rob another group. The members of the group being robbed wisely runs for it. Somebody in the group doing the robbing pulls out a gun and starts shooting. Meanwhile a member of his group steps into the line of fire and gets shot.
Police say 15 year old Johnathon Schmedding died and Roy Lee Brown did the shooting. But Jesse King, and Johnathon Schmedding's brother Julian Schmedding face first degree murder charges too because they were involved in a crime in which somebody died.
Soon after the shooting, Steven Samluck said it's a frightening place to live.
"I was just surprised that it was in front of my house. I'm used to hearing gun shots around here, but never that close to home."
But other neighbors said they do not feel unsafe here.
William Moorman lives in the area and says, “29th Street is still pretty crazy, but still you wouldn't expect to have something like that out here.”
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: “So otherwise fairly peaceful out here, usually?”
Moorman: “Yeah. Yeah. Normally there are some cops driving down the street but we've never had nothing like this so close."
Hanging over all this is the idea of a man charged with murdering his brother, even though he did not fire the gun that killed him.
Defense Attorney Mike Piccarreta is not involved with this case. He says if somebody dies during a crime, everyone who tried to pull off the crime can face First Degree murder.
“Even if the person did not know that the other individual had a gun, had no intent that the person be shot and was otherwise not involved in the homicide."
Piccarreta says even if a person being robbed, pulls a gun to defend himself, and that person kills someone, the robbers can face a murder charge because they tried to commit a crime that led to a death.
Piccarreta says Arizona's law is often criticized as unfair. He says as a practical matter, a prosecutor may lower the charge against someone who didn't actually pull the trigger but that person is still probably headed for a long time in prison.