School Closings & Delays

Family Waits For Justice After Deadly Shooting

FAIRMOUNT TOWNSHIP – Family members of a man who was shot and killed seven weeks ago told Newswatch 16 that they’re still waiting for justice in the case.

State troopers said David Wheeler was shot and killed by a 16-year-old, during a dispute in a home near Ricketts Glen State Park back in April.

The Luzerne County Coroner said the death was ruled a homicide, but no one has been charged with the deadly shooting.

Neighbors told Newswatch 16 that the shooting may have happened in self-defense, but Wheeler’s mother says that story doesn’t add up.

“I feel that this was premeditated. My son was at our house five minutes before this happened. In a five minute span, a child has a gun, gives a warning shot then shoots him in the stomach? It just makes absolutely no sense to us at all,” said Ruth Frey. “He loved his children, he loved his family, he loved to play guitar. He loved to do art and poetry. He was very talented; he surely didn`t deserve to die over sixty dollars.”

Frey and other family members said they want criminal charges filed against the 16-year-old, who has not been publicly identified by investigators.

“He chose to arm himself and to take a life. He should be held responsible for that,” said Shelia Brandon.

At district court in Nanticoke, the teenager’s mother waived her right to a preliminary hearing on charges of obstructing the investigation.

Damar Kachmarsky agreed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct and to pay a $300 fine; a charge of obstructing administration of law or other government function was withdrawn by troopers.

Authorities said Kachmarsky tried talking to her son in a cruiser the night of the shooting, and she refused to cooperate with troopers.

Kachmarsky refused to answer questions from Newswatch 16 as she left district court.

The Luzerne County District Attorneys office said it is still investigating the case, but it would not say when investigators will decide if charges will be filed for the deadly shooting.

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