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Arrest made in homicide of York City bystander

  • York City Police say a 16-year-old shot and killed an innocent woman in York City last month.
  • Leandro Pilier, 16, is charged with homicide.

A York City teenager is accused of fatally shooting a woman in York City last month.

York City Police say Leandro Alexander Pilier, 16, fired a gun and struck Elizabeth Vega-Tirado in the head outside a store on West Princess Street on June 27.

 A makeshift memorial lies in the foreground while Black Ministers Association of York and York City pastors join together with community members to pray to end gun violence at the intersection of West Princess Street and Belvidere Avenue in York City, Monday, July 3, 2017. The memorial is a tribute to York City resident Elizabeth Vega-Tirado, 48, who was was shot at the intersection on June 27 and later died. Vega-Tirado was not the intended target. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Vega-Tirado, 48. of West Princess Street, was pronounced dead at York Hospital that night. She was a mother of four. 

Lt. Troy Bankert,  who supervises the city detective bureau, said Pilier was arrested in the 700 block of West Poplar Street  about 4:20 p.m., July 27. He ran from police, Bankert said, but he was then taken into custody.

Pilier, of 243 S. Belvidere Ave., is charged as an adult with homicide. 

Homicide: York City Police responded to the intersection of West Princess Street and South Belvidere Avenue just before 3:45 p.m. June 27 for a reported shooting.

When they arrived, Vega-Tirado was found laying in the street with a gunshot wound to her head. She later died from her injuries.

On the scene, police found three 9mm shell casings in front of 704 W. Princess St., and two .22 caliber shell casings in the area. 

A makeshift memorial for Elizabeth Grisel Vega-Tirado was created at the corner of South Belvidere Avenue and West Princess Street Wednesday, June 28, 2017. She died Tuesday after she was shot outside a store on the street where she lived. Bill Kalina photo

When reviewing video surveillance footage from Bev's Grocery Store, police could see Vega-Tirado walking out of the store toward West Princess Street in an attempt to cross to the north side.

More:Police: One shot in York City

A vehicle traveling south on South Belvidere Avenue cut her off from crossing and then turned east on West Princess Street, police said. She was then struck by gunfire, documents state.

Leandro Pilier

"There they go": After the shooting, a man walked from the area of the 704 W. Princess St. toward where Vega-Tirado had been just before police arrived, court documents state. He told police that he did not see who fired, and he admitted to approaching Vega-Tirado because the group he was with thought she had "passed out," court documents state.

 

That man told police he was there with some other people when one of them yelled about the car coming, and he ducked into a breezeway, police said.

More:Slain bystander: 'We don't know if today's our last day'

A witness told police that some men were in front of the homes on 704 and 706 W. Princess St., and that one of the men yelled, "There they go," according to police.

The witness told police that Pilier stepped off a porch in the area, pulled a silver and black gun from his waistband and walked toward a parked van in the area, charging documents allege. 

A makeshift memorial for Elizabeth Grisel Vega-Tirado bears a photo at the corner of South Belvidere Avenue and West Princess Street Wednesday, June 28, 2017. She died Tuesday after she was shot outside a store on the street where she lived. Bill Kalina photo

Police say that Pilier fired east, and Vega-Tirado fell. He then left the area in a breezeway, according to charging documents.

Bankert said the car was the intended target and the fact that he hit Vega-Tirado was an indication of "the level of danger that he presents."

“We are extremely happy that we were able to take him into custody," Bankert said.

Pilier was remanded to York County Prison without bail. 

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.