Police: York City homicide victim ID'd his shooter

When police found Tyler Owens with a gunshot wound early Sunday morning in York City, responding officers asked him who had shot him.

York City Police say Owens told them the last phone number in his phone belonged to the person who shot him. 

That number belonged to Zane Kenneth Senft, 22, who police say fatally shot 24-year-old Owens in the 100 block of South Richland Avenue  on Sunday, Oct. 7.

Senft was taken into custody the same day Owens was shot, and he is charged with homicide.

Charging documents indicate Owens was killed by someone he was trying to sell drugs to. 

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Zane Senft

Shooting: Police were dispatched to the 100 block of South Richland Avenue just after 1:30 a.m. Sunday for a report of a shooting.

When officers arrived, they found Owens lying in a parking lot by a vehicle, suffering from a gunshot wound, court documents state. He told police he was doing business with the person who shot him, according to authorities. 

He was taken to York Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday, Oct. 8.

Witnesses told police they heard a gunshot in the area of the Turkey Hill and the CVS Pharmacy parking lot, and a man wearing all black and a hoodie took off in a dark-colored sedan after getting into the passenger side of the car, officials said.

Those witnesses also told police they spoke to Owens after he was shot, and he also told them that the last number in his phone belonged to the person who shot him, according to police.

Investigation: Detectives reviewed video surveillance from the area and found a dark-colored Mercury fleeing the area, and it matched the description of the vehicle provided by witnesses, charging documents state.

Police  checked the last number on Owens' phone and found that it belonged to Senft, a man who reported a theft from his vehicle, a black 2007 Mercury Milan, in June, officials said.

That vehicle  matched the vehicle seen in surveillance footage, police said. 

York City Police were contacted by Northern York County Regional Police about 10 a.m. and reported finding Senft's vehicle in the 3100 block of Carlisle Road, Dover Township, court documents state. Senft was found in a home there, although police say he does not live there.

Police spoke to a man who said in the hours before Owens' death, Senft and another man went into the city to buy marijuana, officials said. That person told investigators Senft took an "extreme" amount of time to come back, and when Senft came back he was "in a rush to leave," charging documents state.

Those documents do not state where Senft was before going into York City and eventually going to the home in Dover.

Lt. William Wentz, who supervises the city detective bureau, said investigators are still trying to work out a timeline of the night. Wentz said detectives believe Senft and others in the car were driving around that night.

"We're still working on trying to identify everybody that was in the vehicle," he said. Wentz said police believe there were more than two people in the car.

Police spoke with Senft, who initially requested an attorney but changed his mind and decided to speak with investigators, according to officials. He told police he went to the area to purchase marijuana and then went to the ATM by the Turkey Hill to withdraw money, charging documents state.

Senft told police he didn't know the name of the person he went there with, officials said.

He eventually said the questions were getting hard, and he then requested an attorney a second time, court documents state.

On Monday,Wentz said Senft has ties to Lebanon and other areas in York County, but he currently has no fixed address. He said investigators do not know why Senft allegedly shot Owens; he said the two were acquaintances.

“At a bare minimum, they were familiar and knew each other,” Wentz said. 

Prior shooting: Senft was the victim of a York City shooting more than two years ago. Police have said Senft was shot in the 100 block of Hamilton Avenue on Aug. 11, 2016.

Police say Devin Michael Zeigler, 21, shot Senft during an argument that day, and both of them ended up with gunshot wounds. 

Zeigler and Senft were arguing while Senft was in a car, and Zeigler pulled a gun on him, prompting Senft to pull a gun out as well, charging documents state. Police say Senft fired one shot then told his driver to leave.

As the car was leaving the scene, Zeigler fired at the car and struck Senft in the back, according to authorities.

Zeigler pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and carrying a firearm without a license in May 2018. He was sentenced to four to eight years in prison.

Senft was arraigned at the county's central booking unit Sunday night. He was sent to York County Prison without bail. He does not have an attorney listed yet.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 19 at District Judge Joel Toluba's office.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to text "Yorktips" and their information to 847-411 or call the York City Police Department's anonymous crime tip line at 717-849-2204.

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