The shooting death of a former all-state football player has left a community mourning and police with more questions than answers.
DeAndre Moon, an 18-year-old graduate of Rochester Area High School, was shot around 2:30 a.m. on a houseboat in the New Brighton Marina. He was pronounced dead at Heritage Valley Hospital about an hour-and-a-half later.
The standout running back-linebacker at Rochester was a Class A first-team all-state selection after the 2011 season. Mr. Moon received a football scholarship to Concord University and was slated to report for team training today.
New Brighton police questioned the owner of the houseboat, David Mooney, 19, who was accompanied by his attorney. As they left the police station Wednesday night, attorney Steve Colafella told KDKA-TV that Mr. Mooney fired in self-defense.
Police declined to comment on whether Mr. Mooney would face charges.
New Brighton police Chief Charles Vanfossan said officers were investigating the possibility that Mr. Moon and several other men came to the houseboat to rob Mr. Mooney when the football star was shot in the groin.
"We still have a lot of evidence to collect," Chief Vanfossan said Wednesday evening. "This is not over yet."
The mother of Mr. Mooney's 16-year-old girlfriend, who was at the marina when the shooting took place, said she picked up the couple from the marina after 2 a.m. The mother said the couple told her they had been robbed and that Mr. Mooney fired shots at the intruders.
When the woman arrived, her daughter got in the car and told her to leave. Then the mother saw Mr. Moon lying in the road.
The woman, who declined to give her name, said she stopped her car as a vehicle pulled up alongside Mr. Moon and picked him up. The men took Mr. Moon to the hospital, where medical staff contacted police.
Chief Vanfossan said Mr. Moon was shot inside the boat, which was roped off with crime scene tape Wednesday. A glass panel in the front door was broken out.
Owners of the marina said Mr. Mooney is the only tenant to live on his boat and no other boaters were at the marina at the time of the shooting.
He said his officers were aware of another possible robbery at the houseboat two nights earlier and intended to find out more by questioning Mr. Mooney and his girlfriend.
As police tried to make sense of the shooting, friends of Mr. Moon took to social media to express their grief and held a candlelight vigil at the Rochester Area High School football stadium Wednesday night.
Football players expressed their sadness on Twitter. A Facebook page, "R.I.P. DeAndre Moon," had nearly 2,000 "likes" by 10 p.m.
One young man, Torian Berry, posted: "I tried bro. We had you up at the hospital within 7 minutes after you got shot. Rode up there the whole way you was talkin to us and everything. You said you was gon make [it]..."
Mr. Moon's family could not be reached for comment.
The Rochester Area School District released a statement offering condolences to Mr. Moon's family and friends. Officials are making grief counselors available to students today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Rochester Area High School auditorium.
In a holiday 2011 issue of Rochester's student newspaper The Oracle, Mr. Moon was asked what he thought his future held. The teen's answer was, "No stress."
Taryn Luna: 412-263-1985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.