Felony charge not likely in ‘terrible tragedy’ homicide in West Chester

While the investigation of a Friday homicide in West Chester Twp. is ongoing, evidence gathered so far indicates the alleged shooter will face a misdemeanor and not a felony charge, said Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.

Jesse K. Buabeng, 25, of West Chester Twp., was shot to death in the Lakota Lake Apartments on Friday afternoon. A hysterical 911 caller told dispatchers, “Oh my God, I just shot my foot and I accidentally shot my friend, oh my God I need somebody, I need 911 right now please.”

MORE: West Chester Police ID dead victim in Friday’s fatal shooting, not looking for suspects

As of Wednesday afternoon, no charges had been filed against the apparent suspect, a 22-year-old man listed as another person involved on the police report. The apartment where the shooting took place is listed as that man’s residence. Buabeng lived in the 8800 block of Eagleview Drive.

Gmoser was in touch with West Chester Police detectives on Friday.

“The case is not going to be considered by me as a felony,” he said. “It will stay in the municipal court system if the facts of the investigation remain the same that I know them to be. It is a tragic situation, bad things happen when people are handling firearms. This doesn’t rise to a felony in my opinion. It rises to a terrible tragedy, just like the lady in Fairfield who killed her husband.

“There is going to be accountability, but it is not going to be type of accountability associated with purposeful or reckless conduct. It is associated with negligence”

In August, a Fairfield woman was charged with negligent homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor, after she shot and killed her husband when she grabbed a gun from the holster of a person visiting their home. The gun fired, and her husband was struck in the head. She pleaded no contest to the charge and received 180-day suspended jail sentence, a $1,000 fine and probation for five years.

Police responded to a call of shots fired at 3:50 p.m. Friday at an apartment in the 6900 block of Lakeside Drive in the apartment complex.

“Upon arrival, police found two males with apparent gunshot wounds,” the township said in a release. “One male was deceased. The second male had a gunshot wound to the foot and was transported to West Chester Hospital.”

The township named the victim on Saturday but said the police were not seeking suspects.

“At this time, West Chester Police are not looking for suspects and have no reason to believe there is a threat to the community,” said West Chester Spokeswoman Barb Wilson.

Staff Writers Denise Callahan and Michael Pitman contributed to this report

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