An 18 year-old Norristown man is in custody in connection with the Monday shooting that killed 25-year-old Andrew Polen, of West Norriton. Polen was shot during what authorities say was a botched robbery attempt Monday evening and later pronounced dead at Mercy Suburban Hospital
Rontrey Wilkins, of the 500 block of Buttonwood Street, is facing charges of first-, second- and third-degree murder, robbery, and related offenses in connection with the crime.
According to a release issued by Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Norristown Police Chief Russell Bono, East Norriton Township Police responded to the hospital on Monday, Feb. 11 at 7:54 p.m. for a report of a gunshot victim who arrived by private vehicle. The victim, identified as Polen, was treated and later pronounced dead.
According to the release issued by the DA's office:
Investigation revealed that, prior to arriving at Mercy Suburban Hospital, Polen was the passenger in a car being driven by a friend which was targeted for a robbery in the 1200 block of Lafayette Street in Norristown. During this robbery, a suspect fired multiple gunshots at the vehicle. Andrew Polen was struck in the torso.
According to authorities, county detectives investigating the scene recovered five 7.65 caliber casings in the street near the scene. Additional examinations of the vehicle Polen was driving in reveal the car was hit by gunfire in three locations. Forensic investigators say the bullet that killed Polen was fired through the front passenger seat in which Polen was sitting from the driver's side rear seat. An autopsy revealed that Polen died from a gunshot wound to the chest. His death was ruled a homicide.
Norristown Police and county detectives interviewed 18-year-old Rontrey Wilkins on Tuesday and say Wilkins admitted his role in Polen's death. Authorities are still searching for two additional males who were with Wilkins during the robbery.
According to the DA, police searching Wilkins’ home at 503 Buttonwood Street recovered a .32 caliber Walther PPK Pistol, a 12-gauge Remington Model 870 shotgun, ammunition, drug paraphernalia and more than 100 packets of suspected heroin.
Wilkins is being charged with first-, second- and third-degree murder, robbery, and related offenses. He was arraigned before Judge Francis Lawrence and was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility without bail. A preliminary hearing date is set for Feb. 27.
Patch readers reported another shooting incident late Monday night in the area of West Lafayette and Hamilton streets in Norristown and police sources confirm at least one victim is reported dead as a result of the incident.
Official details of the incident are not yet released, but authorities may already have an individual in custody. Details of the incident are expected to be released by the District Attorney's office sometime Tuesday.
Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.