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Police: York City teen killed in double shooting

Sean Philip Cotter

DaKeem Dennison had just become a father.

“It was going to be his baby’s first Christmas,” said Keith Wright, the 19-year-old’s next-door neighbor.

Officials investigate the scene of a shooting in the 700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in York, Pa. on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (Dawn J. Sagert - The York Dispatch)

Dennison, of the 400 block of Girard Avenue, was shot to death Friday night, according to York City Police.

He and another man, Damon Banks Jr., 19, also of York City, were inside a home in the 700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in the city’s Avenues neighborhood around 10:30 p.m. when as many as four people broke in and shot them, according to York City Police Lt. Troy Bankert.

Banks was hit in the buttocks and was in stable condition early Saturday morning at York Hospital, according to police. The hospital had no information available Saturday afternoon about Banks.

Dennison was also taken to York Hospital, where he was pronounced dead in the operating room at 12:27 a.m. Saturday, according to the York County Coroner’s Office.

Bankert said the police didn't have any suspects in custody.

Officials investigate the scene of a shooting in the 700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in York, Pa. on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (Dawn J. Sagert - The York Dispatch)

Targeted? Officers found the two men after they were called to the block for reports of shots fired.

Bankert said it's likely the intruders broke into the townhouse at 725 Pennsylvania Ave.because they knew the pair would be there.

"They were looking for drugs and money," he said, and maybe also looking for the two teenagers, who both have drug arrests on their records.

Bankert said the resident of the apartment wasn't home at the time, but both Dennison and Banks were allowed to be there.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital to determine official cause and manner of death, according to the York County.

A couple of hours after dawn Saturday, the Avenues neighborhood was quiet, the brick townhouses in the 700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue just a few blocks down from the York Fairgrounds bathed in chilly early morning light. A ribbon of yellow police tape still blocked off the entrance to 729 Pennsylvania Ave., right next to the townhouse at 725. What appeared to be a few blue kids' balloons drifted in the breeze at that address, tied to the chain-link fence adjacent to the house.

No one answered the door at that address.

Several neighbors declined to comment on the record.

York City Police confirm a shooting took place on the 700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue Friday night.

Dennison: On the other side of the city, Wright lives next door to where Dennison lived with the 19-year-old’s mother. Wright said she wasn’t around — she’d left after finding out the news.

No one answered the door at Dennison’s home shortly after noon Saturday.

Behind eyes glassy with unshed tears, Wright’s thoughts drifted back to his own family as he sat on his couch next to his son, who was playing video games. He couldn’t imagine being in Dennison’s mother’s situation.

“I have no idea what I’d do,” Wright said.

Wright said he’d just seen Dennison the day before.

“And my daughter was over there and was chillin’ with him,” he said.

Wright described his neighbor as a nice kid who “had a lot going for him.” He liked both Dennison and Dennison’s mother.

“They’re good people,” he said. “You can (put in the newspaper) ‘Keith Wright and family’ because we all loved him.”

Wright was frustrated with the violence that he said too often strikes in the city.

“A lot of kids fall victim to the streets,” Wright said.

Online court records show Dennison pleaded guilty in August to a felony count of possession with the intent to deliver, and a misdemeanor count of drug possession; the charges stemmed from two incidents over the past couple of years. He had been sentenced to five years probation, according to documents.

Shootings: This is the sixth shooting incident in York City in the past week, during which seven people have been shot. Police have said the previous five shootings appear unrelated. All of those victims, like Banks, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Police: 5 shot in York City in past week

York City Police Chief Wes Kahley said he doesn't know if Friday night's shooting is linked to any of those previous shootings, but that the department is reviewing them all for connections.

"It's certainly not acceptable, that's for sure," he said of the violence this past week.

York City Police continue to investigate. Anyone with information is encouraged to call police at 846-1234 or 755-TIPS.

— Reach Sean Cotter at

Officials investigate the scene of a shooting in the 700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in York, Pa. on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (Dawn J. Sagert - The York Dispatch)