City police investigating shooting

Police and other emergency vehicles are lined up at Neshannock Village, responding to a shooting that occurred Thursday afternoon. 

A Neshannock Village man is facing more gun-related charges following his involvement in a shooting death outside of his apartment complex last month.

Nw Castle police withdrew charges against Marcus N. Respress of 401 Neshannock Ave. that had been filed April 9, and refiled them with more charges on Tuesday.

Police had determined that the April 8 shooting death in Neshannock Village of Darius Ramsey, 22, of Young St. was in self-defense, after Ramsey initiated the gunfire at Respress and Respress fired back.

Respress initially was charged with prohibited possession of a firearm and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, after police, according to a criminal complaint, found a loaded semiautomatic pistol and 8.1 grams of suspected heroin and a quantity of marijuana under his mattress during a search of his apartment after the shooting. Upon further investigation, the police have added three more counts — two more of prohibited possession of a firearm and one count of carrying a gun without a license, to the charges.

The criminal complaint notes that Respress had been convicted on a felony drug charge in Lexington, Oklahoma, in 2005, and is not allowed to possess a gun in Pennsylvania.

Respress was not charged with Ramsey's death because the police determined that Ramsey fired first and Respress returned fire. Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa also determined Ramsey’s death resulted from an act of self-defense. Authorities made the ruling after examining surveillance video of the Lawrence County Housing Authority. 

All of the gun charges against Respress stem from his felonious history, his not being allowed to carry a gun and because he didn't have a license to carry a gun, according to a criminal complaint.

He is in the Lawrence County jail on $100,000 bond.

According to the criminal complaint, Ramsey was speeding through Neshannock Village while Respress took a gun out of his pocket, but kept it pointed at the ground as he was walking. Ramsey fired a gun at Respress, who shot back four times into the vehicle. 

Ramsey fled from the scene in his vehicle, hit a light pole and was taken to UPMC Jameson in another vehicle before dying of a gunshot wound to his chest. Respress was not injured, but exhibited signs of a cardiac event and was taken to the hospital for evaluation. 

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Debbie's been a journalist at the New Castle News since 1978, and covers county government, police and fire, New Castle schools, environment and various other realms. She also writes features, takes photos and video and copy edits.

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